Erode turmeric market turns `white’ today

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ERODE: The famous turmeric mandi in Erode district which shut down on November 9 due to demonetisation will re-open on Tuesday, hopefully to brisk business. For the first time in the history of the 64-year-old turmeric business in the district, traders will make payments through chequesinstead of cash. The turmeric market is huge in TN, one of the largest producing states in the country. The industry produces 12 lakh bags of turmeric every year, generating an annual revenue of Rs 1,000 crore.

National president of Turmeric Farmers Association of India P K Deivasigamani told TOI that the turmeric market ground to a halt 12 days ago because of the adamancy of traders. “We are ready to sell our produces to traders if they agree to make payments through banks, cheques or online money transfer,” he said. As the business thrived in the black market, traders refused to make payments through banks, said Deivasigamani. Federation of All Trade and Industries’ Association General secretary V K Rajamanickam said a decision was taken to issue cheques at a consultative meeting of merchants’ associations held on Monday . “Farmers ready to accept cheques can bring their samples to the mandi from Tuesday ,” he said.

Mandi officials say that on an average, traders do business worth Rs1 crore per day. “About Rs 8 crore worth of business has been affected due to closure of the mandi,” they said.About 60 traders, 200 godown owners and more than one lakh farmers are linked to the mandi. “We might have sold about 30,000 turmeric bags (each weighs about 75 kg) if the mandi had opened for auction,” said an official, seeking anonymity .

During the peak season, about 5000 bags of turmeric are brought for auctioning every day. Business is usually brisk in the months of February, March and April. It slackens during the months of May , June and July and peaks again in August, September and October. It slows down in November, December and January .

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