Guntur: Turmeric starts pouring in Duggirala Agriculture Market Yard

Guntur: Turmeric enjoys a prominent place in the Indian households whether it is for cooking, beauty aid, or for medicinal purposes. However, the farmer who cultivates turmeric is always at the receiving end and has no say in the fixing of its price. In spite of the machinations of the traders and middlemen, the successive governments always try to help the farmers to get remunerative price for the turmeric produce.

Duggirala Market Yard in Guntur district is one of the biggest turmeric markets in the country. With the season expected to start within ten days, the farmers are bringing turmeric stocks to the Duggirala Agriculture Market in district.

Andhra Pradesh Markfed has set up its counter to purchase turmeric from farmers at Rs.6,850 per quintal to extend helping hand to the farmers due to fall of turmeric price in the open market for the last few years.

The Markfed will purchase thirty quintals from the each farmer at the MSP fixed by the government to extend helping hand to them. Once the season started the arrivals will continue till June.

Duggirala AMC officials are already conducting a campaign about the AP Markfed centers and distributing pamphlets to the farmers to create awareness. According to official sources, the farmers who booked crop under e-crop are eligible to sell turmeric in the counters, They have to bring their copies of Pattadar passbooks, Aadhaar card copies, certificate issued by the VRO. The AMC officials have already set up a flexi about Markfed counters.

According to the Horticulture Department officials, the farmers would cultivate turmeric in over 3,500 hectares in the mandals of Duggirala, Kollipara, Mangalagiri and Tadepalli in the district. They invested Rs. 1 lakh per acre. In turn, they would get an average of 2.25 tonnes of turmeric yield per acre.

During this year, they got up to 2.5 tonnes of yield. Unexpected floods have damaged turmeric crop in Kolluru, Kollipara mandals. In spite of it, the farmers get good yield. After getting the crop, the farmers boil the turmeric finger and process the produce. Based on the quality, the traders will fix the price.

The farmers from Krishna, Guntur and Kadapa districts bring stocks to Duggirala Market Yard for sale. Turmeric season will continue for three months from April.

The turmeric prices had been falling for the last few years due to inferior quality of yield and reduction of demand for turmeric finger. Turmeric which was sold at Rs.10,000 per quintal in 2015, is now selling at Rs. 5,000 per quintal in the Duggirala Agriculture Market Yard. Depending upon the quality of the turmeric finger, the traders are purchasing at the price ranging from Rs. 4000 to Rs.5000 per quintal. Due to falling of prices, the farmers kept 4 lakh bags of turmeric stocks in the cold storage units to sell at better price. They are paying charges to the cold storage units and interest on the loans taken against stocks to the banks. Due to falling of prices, they are suffering heavy losses. Abnormal increase in cultivation of turmeric is one of the reasons for falling price.

Duggirala Agriculture Marketing Committee (AMC) secretary N Srinivasa Rao said, "Markfed set up its counter at the AMC in Duggirala. We are continuing campaign about it and urge the farmers to avail the facility provided by the government and benefit."

Duggirala Agriculture Market Yard secretary N Srinivasa Rao

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