Posted by : swadeshi jagaran manch Wednesday, 14 March 2012

         In the State of Andhra Pradesh, Nizamabad district accounts for around 20 per cent of the total production indicating that Nizamabad is one of the leading producers of turmeric in the State.  Unfortunately total area under cultivation in the district had been drastically coming down for nearly a decade.  The major reason for decline in area under cultivation of turmeric crop is that it has not been as remunerative to the farmers as it was before.  Increasing input costs, stagnant outputs, declining prices were identified as causes for drastic reduction in area under cultivation in the district from 60,000 hectares to 14,000 hectares. Similar situation is prevalent in most parts of the state which are known for turmeric cultivation.  Earlier after great struggle by the turmeric farmers in the State the Government of Andhra Pradesh gave some assurances to protect the interests of turmeric farmers. After the Govt. ordered MARKFED to interfere, the prices of turmeric dramatically increased which brought cheer on the faces of the turmeric farmers.  We take this opportunity to thank the Government for its timely intervention at that time. 
Unfortunately after the MARKFED’s withdrawal the situation slowly limped back to previous situation and currently the farmers are again facing difficult times and desperate for remunerative prices.  The Government gave some assurances in this regard in the past.  Despite several assurances not much has been done on the ground to improve the plight of turmeric farmers.  The unholy nexus of traders still rules the roost in market yards preventing farmers from getting their due prices.  To cite the recent example, the farmers were hardly paid Rs.4000/- per quintal early in last year by the traders who procured turmeric from the innocent gullible farmers and thereafter started jacking up the prices to reap huge cash benefits and rigged the price to over Rs.15,000/- per quintal within a short span of less than 6 to 7 months.  Again in the current year also even before the harvest came the price of raw turmeric fell sharply indicating imminent losses to the farmers. No tangible effort has been made to remedy this type of situation. At present the farmer is incurring an expenditure of over Rs.1 lakh per acre for producing turmeric.  This huge investment is being made by the farmer by taking loans from private individuals and institutions expecting that he would be able to repay the debt after the harvest.  Though the farmer is able to have a good harvest despite adverse weather conditions, the farmer is not in a position to get back his initial investment leave alone the income for his sustenance.  This situation has arisen due to sharp decline in the price of the turmeric.  The total production in the world as well as in the country remained more or less same when compared to the previous year when the market price of the turmeric was over Rs.15,000 per quintal.  Suddenly due to unholy nexus of the market forces the price of turmeric has sharply declined to Rs.4,000/- per quintal.  At this price the farmer would sustain huge loss despite better harvest.  To overcome this situation some sort of a market intervention is essential to support the farmer.   This organisation has conducted a study about the situation of turmeric crop in Nizamabad district in the past and has updated the same recently.  The cost data obtained recently is enclosed for your kind perusal.  According to the recent cost data obtained from field study the actual cost of production per acre has far exceeded Rs.131, 000/- if the land is owned by the farmer if that is a lease land the cost would be much higher.  When compared with costs and yield per acre the minimum support price of Rs.15,000/- per quintal is justified. 
            Further the assurances made to establish turmeric research centre at Armoor, distributing high yielding varieties to farmers, providing financial assistance at reasonable interest, covering turmeric crop under crop insurance scheme with reasonable premium also did not actually materialise. 
            Therefore, we request the intervention of the Government in this regard by favourably considering the following demands.
  • Announce a minimum support price of Rs.15,000 per quintal to the turmeric. This is reflective of market conditions without any unholy nexus of traders. The Government would not also suffer any loss even if it procures the turmeric from the market through MARKFED at this price as the international and national prices of turmeric are more than this price.  Since around 90 per cent of the world’s turmeric output is grown in this country any hike in the turmeric price would not result in imbalance and reduction in market share. 
  • Issue instructions to MARKFED to procure turmeric from the market at a price of Rs.15000 per quintal.  The very presence of MARKFED would correct the distortions in the market and assure better price to the farmer.
  • Covering turmeric crop under crop insurance scheme with reasonable premium
  • Suitable enhancement in the scale of finance for turmeric crop from the existing level to cover the entire cost of production
  • Arranging farm loans to turmeric farmers at ‘Pavala vaddi’ (4 per cent)
  • Providing high yielding variety of turmeric seed at reasonable prices to farmers
  • Establishing turmeric processing unit at Armoor
  • Speedup the process of establishing turmeric research centre at Armoor
  • Establish a turmeric board to address the problems of turmeric farmers and also to regulate and develop the crop in the country in general and Nizamabad district in particular.
  • Establish an independent organisation which can procure turmeric from farmers at remunerative prices and sell the same at better price in national and international markets. 

Statement showing the cost of production of turmeric in one acre

1. Seed cost  8*3000                                                                                       Rs.24,000
2. Two Lorries of Compost @12000/- per load                                              Rs.24,000
3.20 Tractor loads of black soil once in two years (Rs.16000/2)                    Rs.  8,000
4. Fertilizer cost                                                                                              Rs.  4,000
5. Pesticide cost                                                                                              Rs.  2,000
6.Boiling charges                                                                                            Rs.  5,000
7. Polishing charges                                                                                        Rs.  4,000
8. Electricity (Power charges) and Maintenance of motor                             Rs.  3,000
9. Interest on Bank Loan (Rs.1,00000 @ 4% p.a.)                                         Rs.  4,000
10.  Crop Insurance Premium                                                                         Rs.  6,250
11. Labour charges (Daily wages)                                                                  Rs. 32,250
12. Monthly wage worker                                                                               Rs. 15,000
                                                Total                                                              Rs.1,31,500

Lease charges if the land is not owned by the farmer                                               Rs.40,000/-

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