Erode district, in Tamil Nadu, saw a spike in turmeric production some years back, and the trade was flourishing. However, at this point in time, the trade is witnessing poor demand, both locally and from upcountry markets. This may be due to the availability of good quality turmeric at cheaper prices from other states. Even the local Masala firms are buying turmeric from Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra, as prices are lower.
“For the past couple of years we are seeing demand dropping consistently, so we are cautiously quoting the price and buying the same. The spice was cultivated over about 70,000 acres of land in Tamil Nadu but now it has decreased to about 40,000 acres. The farmers, for want of getting feasible price, have reduced the acreage and have switched over to other cash crops like banana,” RKV Ravishankar, President, Erode Turmeric Merchants Association, told thehindubusinessline.com.
Every year, Tamil Nadu’s share was about 1 mln bags (of 70 kg each) of turmeric, but now there are only about 700,000 – 800,000 bags approximately that come to market. Erode turmeric traders say that the upcountry demand is decreasing every year.