Covid-19 brings Maharashtra’s turmeric hub to a standstill

Radheshyam Jadhav Pune August 4 | Updated on August 04, 2020 Published on August 04, 2020

60% of crop produced in Sangli has remained unsold this season

The city of Sangli in Maharashtra and nearby villages, known as the turmeric hub of the State, are reeling under crisis as 60 per cent of turmeric produced in the region has remained unsold this season.

Sangli accounts for 70 per cent of the State’s turmeric production. March, April and May are peak harvest season for turmeric farmers. Though farmers harvested the crop, there are no buyers in the market.

“About 2 lakh quintal of turmeric is produced in Sangli every season, but farmers are facing huge losses, as 60 per cent of the produce has been kept in the stock. Turmeric is a cash crop and farmers largely depend on it for further sowing and other agricultural activities. The lull in the market is going to affect production in the next season,” Raju Patil, Chairman of Sangli Turmeric Cluster, told BusinessLine. He added that online trading has not yielded much results as traders have not shown interest in purchase.

Traders across the State along with those from Karnataka visit Sangli, but this season was marred by the Covid-19 spread, say farmers. The Sangli market had got a major boost in 2018 when the crop turmeric got the geographical indication tag by the Indian Patent Office. ‘Sangli Halad’ brand is popular across India.

However, according to farmers, Covid-19 will have a long-term impact on turmeric farmers.

No buyers

The price of turmeric has dropped from ₹ 80-90 per kg to ₹40-50 per kg in the Sangli market. Farmers said that even though they are ready to sell the produce at a lower rate, there are no buyers as the auction has been stopped for the last few months.

Along with Sangli, Hingoli, Parbhani and Nanded are the turmeric-producing districts in the State. “The situation in these markets is similar. Turmeric farmers and traders will have to bear heavy losses” Patil said.

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Published on August 04, 2020
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