Agri Business

Turmeric price crash leaves farmers fuming

Reuters New Delhi | Updated on March 01, 2019 Published on March 01, 2019

A bumper harvest has led to a crash in turmeric prices in India, the world’s biggest producer and exporter of the bright yellow spice, causing furious farmers to stage protests in key growing regions demanding government help, growers and traders said.

Turmeric, which holds antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, has been gaining in popularity among health-conscious consumers around the world in recent years.

This year's bumper crop is the result of a boom in last year's planting after prices soared in 2018 due to lower output and depleted stocks. Now, prices have slumped nearly 24 per cent since the beginning of 2019 thanks to mounting stocks at wholesale markets.

“Turmeric prices have dived and desperate farmers have hit the streets to highlight their plight,” said Punam Chand Gupta, a trader from Nizamabad, a key market in Telangana. “Prices have been falling since January and farmers are forced to sell at really low prices.”

Turmeric prices hovered around ₹85,000 ($1,200) a tonne in December and started sliding in January, when the new season crop started trickling in, farmers and traders said.

“Prices continued to slide through January and February, and have dived now to ₹65,000 a tonne,” said Abijith another farmer in Nizamabad.

“The government should come to our help by either ensuring that turmeric prices go up a little or buy some of our produce at a government-set price,” he said.

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Published on March 01, 2019
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