Hyderabad: The turmeric farmers association has called for a dharna at the BJP office in Nizamabad and party MP D. Arvind’s residence on July 24. Farmers are agitated that despite its promise, the BJP did not move on setting up the turmeric board in Nizamabad.
“If our demands are not met, then we will boycott the BJP in the municipal elections. We were expecting Mr Arvind to deliver, however, he has betrayed us by not taking up our issue in Parliament or with Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” turmeric farmer T. Tirupati Reddy said.
Turmeric farmers from Nizamabad, Armoor, Jagtial and Balkonda threatened to boycott the BJP if the Centre does not set up the turmeric board to weed out middlemen and provide minimum support price (MSP). Farmers want an MSP of Rs 15,000 per quintal for turmeric and Rs 3,500 per quintal for red jowar.
About 180 farmers had contested in the Lok Sabha elections as a symbol of their protest over the issue. Mr Arvind had then signed a bond as reassurance to secure the turmeric board in ten days.
“Turmeric farmers are in distress, and the government is being nonchalant about their demands. Turmeric and red jowar farmers will therefore stage a dharna on July 24,” farmer leader Kotapaka Narsimha Naidu said. The farmers will also write to President Ram Nath Kovind and Mr Modi regarding the issue, he added.
TRS ex-MP K. Kavitha had repeatedly raised the turmeric farmers’ issues in Parliament and even met Mr Modi and his cabinet ministers regarding the turmeric board. She did manage to secure a turmeric cell from the state government, however, that was not sufficient.
A farmer said turmeric cultivation requires large investments and around 10 months of effort, yet they’re not paid enough for the product....