For turmeric growers, 2020 didn’t start on an auspicious note, as unabated rains inundated the fields in the turmeric-growing regions of Nizamabad, impacting their prospects.
With the prices ruling in the range of ₹53-62 a kg in the wholesale market, farmers are disheartened.
Considered to be the turmeric hub of the country, Telangana grows the spice on about 1.33 lakh acres. This year, however, the area has come down to 1.1 lakh acres. Continuous rains for a few weeks in August-September and prolonged water-logging in thousands of acres have dampened hopes of a good yield too. In 2018-19, the State produced 3.45 lakh tonnes of turmeric.
Anvesh Reddy, a leader of the turmeric farmers group in the State, said this year the trade expects output to drop by about 15 per cent.
He also expressed concern over cheap price for turmeric in the market. “Farmers spend about ₹1.50 lakh to sow turmeric in an acre of land and see yield of about 22-24 quintals. The break-even price comes to ₹7,000 per quintal for farmers. But over last few years market price has been ruling much below the break-even price,” added Reddy.
The prices of turmeric around the same period last year were in the range of ₹4,050-6,500 a quintal. A peak price of ₹7, 778 a quintal was recorded in the third week of May last year.
Low market price
The peak season for turmeric arrivals is between January and June every year. Though the arrivals will begin from next month, the wholesale markets see higher volumes from January to June.
Presently, the unpolished variety of turmeric fetches ₹53-56 a kg, while the polished variety is traded at ₹55-62 a kg. “These rates are not viable for us,” said, Lakshma Reddy, another turmeric farmer from Nizamabad.
With the neighbouring Andhra Pradesh government having announced MSP for 24 crops, including turmeric, Telangana farmers are also looking for some government support.
The AP government has offered ₹6,550/quintal as MSP for the crop.