Turmeric farmers agree to withdraw protest

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ERODE, FEB. 20:

Turmeric sales took place only at the Regulated Marketing Committee (RMC) on Monday but an end to farmers protest in the other three markets in Erode is in sight.

On Friday, over 1,000 farmers brought their produce to the Erode Turmeric Merchants Association sales yard. But at the market premises, space was available to place 970 samples only. The remaining 30 farmers objected to it and demanded cancellation of the sale or adequate space to place all samples. Due to this, the market was closed and no sale was conducted in all four places then. It was also announced that sales would not be conducted on Monday but the RMC said it would go ahead with auctions.

Meanwhile, farmers and turmeric traders represented their problem with the district administration and an urgent tri-partite meeting called on Monday.

At the tri-partite meeting held at the office of Revenue Divisional Officer, Dr Sugumar, representatives of the Erode Turmeric Merchants Association, farmers representatives and officials took part.

Farmers representatives sought the setting up of an integrated turmeric complex with auctions being conducted by all four turmeric markets.

Traders said that already a place has been purchased at Semmampalayam where 53 acres are available. Traders associations have constructed a sales yard, where auctions can be conducted. They said that they are ready to offer three acres for RMC, but RMC demanded five acres.

After a two-hour long meeting the RDO, Dr Sugumar, asked the farmers and traders to maintain ‘status-quo’. He said he would send a detailed report to collector and asked the Turmeric Merchants Association to hire a private hall for placing all samples immediately. No farmer should be let out from participating in the auction sale, he said.

Mr R.K.V. Ravishankar, President of the Association, assured that he would arrange for rented building to place samples. However, the market will be closed on Tuesday for ‘Maha Sivarathri’. Arrangements will be made on Wednesday to place all samples for sale. Farmers’ representatives also agreed to bring their stocks to the market and participate in auctions.

In Mondays sale at the RMC, a few farmers brought 640 bags. A few traders visited the RMC and placed tender for low quality turmeric. Out of 640 bags, only 170 bags were sold.

The finger variety was sold at Rs 3,266-3,711 a quintal and the root variety at Rs 2,911-3,511. The RMC authorities said all the quality stocks were not purchased by any trader and only the new Number 8 variety turmeric was sold; but at a lower price.

Source: http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/markets/commodities/article2913195.ece

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