Turmeric blues for Kandhamal farmers

Kandhamal: Things have come to such a pass that farmers of Kandhamal district which is famous for its turmeric cultivation are now staring at the prospect of distress sale of their produce. Lack of assistance from the State government and awareness about new farming techniques are denting turmeric productivity in the region.

On top of it, the farmers are also becoming victims of exploitation by traders who are not offering the right price for the produce. According to sources, though dry turmeric should fetch farmers around Rs 70-75 per kg, they are being forced to sell their produce at meager Rs 30-40 kg. Similarly, turmeric production is dwindling by the day due to lack of government assistance.

Notably, the government has stipulated assistance prices of Rs 15.50 per kg for raw turmeric whereas Rs 70-75 per kg of for dry turmeric. However, the farmers are unable to take advantage of these prices as the government mechanism is not being able to reach them staying at these far flung areas. Even the horticulture officials agree to the fact that government assistance and benefits are failing to reach the farmers due to their inaccessibility.