Thoothukudi farmers confident of high yield in turmeric harvest

A turmeric farm at Jakkammalpuram in Thoothukudi district.

There is good news from farmers. The harvest of turmeric in Thoothukudi district, which is likely to take place before Pongal, is set for a high yield due to multiple reasons.

Speaking to The Hindu on Sunday, the farmers said that apart from selling the produce in local markets – in and around Thoothukudi and neighbouring towns, they have planned to take it to metro cities like Mumbai, New Delhi and Kolkata this season.

The farmers said that turmeric, which takes six months for harvest, has been raised in Thangammalpuram, Sivagnanapuram, Servaikaramadam, Jakkamalpuram and Sivathiahpuram respectively.

Due to climate change, the crop coverage in the district had shrunk by at least 50%, the farmers said and added that they were confident of high yield as they had procured the seeds from Karur and Namakkal districts.

For each acre, a farmer had planted close to 30,000 saplings of turmeric. “The standing crops are looking thick and bright and is set for harvest in about a fortnight or so,” they summed up.

Turmeric is not only used in cooking, but in a majority of the dwellings it is tied around the Pongal pot and in the entrance of every house as it signifies a symbolic representation of prosperity, the farmers said and added that they had already received firm orders from Mumbai market.

Around first week of January 2023, they would book trucks to take the produce to the far away destinations, which would be packed with green leaves.

In the neighbouring Kovilpatti in the district, a large number of farmers who raised black gram this season are unhappy as the crop has suffered a type of pest attack. The Tamil Nadu Vivasayigal Sangam district secretary V. Krishnamurthi said that in close to 30000 hectares, farmers had raised black gram.

Poor northeast monsoon, steep fall in temperature at night and mist in the early hours affected the crop extensively. The leaves, which were in green color, had suddenly turned into a kind of yellow color (manjal themal). The villagers attributed it to a virus attack.

Almost 80 % of the crops in the Kovilpatti block had been affected and there was very little chance that the crop could be saved, Mr. Krishnamurthi said and hoped that the officials would carry out inspection and recommend fair compensation. On an average, a sum of ₹30,000 had been spent by a farmer per acre.

He also said that the claims raised by the farmers in this block during 2020-21 were yet to be released and appealed to the Collector K. Senthil Raj to intervene and give early relief to the farming community.

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