Troubling turmeric:Kandhmal farmers in lurch
Daringbadi: The climate of Daringbadi, often described as the Kashmir of Odisha, is suitable for quality turmeric farming. The turmeric growers of Daringbadi, mostly tribals, have earned a name for themselves not just in the country but also world over. "Meria sacrifice" by turmeric growers which was banned during the British Raj now forms part of the folklore.
But the turmeric growers of Daringbadi are a troubled lot these days. Not due to penetration of Maoists into their areas. But because of the market situation. Suddenly the procurement price of turmeric has come down drastically creating trouble for the farmers. One kilogram of turmeric which fetched the farmer anything between Rs 120 to Rs 130 now fetches a meagre Rs 30 a kilo. Farmers fear whether they would be in a position to payback loans in that piquant situation.
In Daringbadi often all the members of a family are engaged in turmeric cultivation. Turmeric happens to be the sole source of income for hundreds of families in Daringbadi. In India. Andhra Pradesh was the major client of turmeric grown by Daringbadi farmers. However, turmeric production has gone up substantially in Andhra which means lesser procurement of turmeric by the southern Indian state. However, government officials claimed that measures were being taken to tackle the problem of the turmeric farmers in Daringbadi.