Lok Sabha: Uttam asks centre to set up Turmeric Board

Hyderabad: Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) President & Nalgonda MP Uttam Kumar Reddy demanded that the Central Government immediately intervene to help the turmeric farmers who are in distress.

Raising the issue during Zero Hour in Lok Sabha on Tuesday, Uttam Kumar Reddy said that the condition of turmeric farmers in Telangana today was highly distressing.

He reminded that Union Minister Rajnath Singh had given a specific assurance in the last elections in Telangana that a Turmeric Board would be set up. But no such steps have been taken, he said.

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“Today lakhs of tonnes of turmeric is lying in markets with no purchasers. We demand that the Central Government intervene now, set an MSP of Rs. 10,000 for the turmeric per quintal and immediately purchase them,” Uttam Kumar Reddy demanded.

Uttam Kumar Reddy said that the Central Government, in its Agriculture Export Policy announced in 2018, had declared turmeric as focussed export. But today, for the farmers of turmeric, nobody is buying their product and they’re in distressed condition and in near suicide stage. Therefore, he demanded that the Centre intervene immediately to help the turmeric farmers.

Later, Uttam Kumar Reddy informed that India ranks 1st by contributing 80% of the World Turmeric Production and Telangana stands first in area and production of turmeric in India with an area of 1.33 Lakh Acres with an production of 2.81 Lakh MTs covering 107,506 farmers. Therefore, Telangana is the largest producer of turmeric in the world.

The estimated value of turmeric production in 2018-19 amounted to Rs. 1687.25 Crore. The cost of cultivation per acre is Rs. 1,19,000 per acre while the average yield per acre is 2.1 MTs.

The Turmeric farmers are facing several hurdles due to lack of Minimum Support Price (MSP), fluctuation of prices and other quality factors.

Due to lot of middle-men/processors, the price of turmeric per kg gets doubled from its journey from the farm gate to the consumer. Therefore, a turmeric farmer sometimes fails to recover even the input cost.

As per PJTSAU survey, the per capita consumption of turmeric is 1.58 gm per day. Therefore, the total required for the Telangana State (3.5 Cr population) per day is about 55.47 MTs and about 20,245 MTs per year with an estimated value of Rs. 243 crore.

Therefore, Telangana has a surplus of 2.61 Lakh MTs valued at about Rs. 1,569.34 crore which is being exported to other States and countries.

In this scenario, Uttam Kumar Reddy said the turmeric farmers could not sustain unless the Central Government provides them MSP of Rs. 10,000 per quintal, take measures to boost export of turmeric by improving supply chain mechanism and take steps to improve quality of production. He said all this could be achieved through formation of a Turmeric Board.

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