Turmeric importers request President to release stock at Port | Daily News


Turmeric importers request President to release stock at Port

An alliance of Turmeric importers has written to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa seeking his intervention to release a stock of one million kilogrammes of turmeric which is currently at Colombo Port adding that the importers would in exchange donate Rs. 100 million to local farmers and purchase locally grown turmeric hereafter.

The importers cite that the scarcity has led to rampant smuggling of turmeric and exorbitantly priced sales in the black market.

“Our country’s dry turmeric demand is 5500 Metric tonnes per annum, but according to the Ministry the country produces only 400 Metric tonnes. At present there are no stocks of turmeric in the market,” the letter reads.

“Turmeric is a 10 month crop, after the harvest it takes further two months to get the final product (turmeric fingers). Currently, the country has no turmeric and since the new crop only started in May/June this year, it will be around April 2021 when we get a new volume.”

Referring to the current stocks, the importers allege that 1 million kilogrammes when divided can only allow 200 grammes to each household, which will only be sufficient for two weeks.

“Meanwhile, the shipping demurrage is accumulating on a daily basis and we urge the Government to help us get these consignments released.”

The importers are willing to donate Rs.100 million to local farmers in order to encourage them to produce more turmeric as well as affirming their commitment to purchase locally grown turmeric hereafter.

“This scarcity has encouraged people to bring Turmeric in illegal ways and sell them at a very high rate up to Rs.4500 for a kilogramme in the black market. Releasing these consignments will enable us to sell them for a government marked price,” they said.

The letter signed by P.S.A Importers, Ranjith Traders, SKT Traders, Sana Lanka Trading and Woodland company also said that the use of Turmeric has increased in volume over the last few months due to the spice’s medicinal value.


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