Low prices dash hopes of turmeric farmers

Turmeric heaps at a marketyard.

Turmeric heaps at a marketyard.   | Photo Credit: File photo

Actual price would be decided after the harvest picks up, says trader

Hopes of turmeric farmers are getting dashed year-after-year with the continuous falling of the market price for the crop. Existing price per quintal in the beginning of trading season in February itself is disappointing.

The current price in the agriculture marketyard here is ₹4,400 to ₹5,400 per quintal for finger (fine) variety and for bulb variety it is ₹4,200 to ₹5,100. This is ₹500 to ₹600 below the price of what both the varieties fetched in the last season. Whether the price would be stable or vary depends on the crop yield. “We would be able to tell only after Sivaratri festival as harvest is slow now. We can assess depending on the quality and quantity,” director of Pradeep Traders Limited Sandeep Akula said.

In practice the farmers did not benefit financially with the eNAM (electronic national agriculture market), but it could contain irregularities in the market. However, it did not enable turmeric farmers to sell their produce to upcountry traders. “There would be several varieties and qualities of crop. Hence, unless traders come physically and check the varieties they cannot purchase the crop,” said Mr. Sandeep.

Heavy rainfall during the kharif damaged the crop and therefore low yield is expected. Crop would keep coming till May first week. The district accounts for 30 % of the total crop in the country. It is mainly exported to Middle East and Bangladesh. Contrary to the reports that the outbreak out of Covid-19 badly impacted the international market the traders here said that the impact is very little as they do not export to China.

On the other hand, farmers complained that compared to last year price has fallen at least by ₹1,000 per quintal this season. They appealed to State government to follow the lead of AP government, which assured ₹6,850 per quintal instead of waiting for the decision of the Centre on minimum support price for turmeric.

In AP the government is paying the difference between the actual sale price (between ₹4,500 and ₹5,500 per quintal) and the assured price on basis of certification by tahsildar, they said.

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Printable version | Feb 28, 2020 9:43:15 AM |

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