A turmeric powder unit in Erode.   | Photo Credit: M_GOVARTHAN

Special centre for turmeric in Erode welcomed

‘It will help in expanding the area under turmeric cultivation bringing in overall development’


The budgetary announcement that special centre for turmeric will be established in Erode was welcomed by farmers and traders, who said that the move would help in expanding the area under turmeric cultivation bringing in overall development.

To encourage remunerative horticulture crops and to boost farmers’ income, the State Government had on Friday announced setting up of a centre for turmeric in Erode through which seeds would be distributed to farmers.

Officials of the Horticulture Department said that the crop is currently cultivated in 13,955 acres in Erode, Kodumudi, Modakurichi, Bhavani, Anthiyur and Gobichettipalayam areas that were irrigated by Lower Bhavani Project (LBP) canal and Kalingarayan Canal.

Curcumin content of turmeric grown in the district is 2.5% to 3.5% that had got a Geographical Indication (GI) tag from the Geographical Indication Registry last year. About six lakh tonnes of turmeric is produced in the district every year of which 60% are exported in the form of turmeric powder and value-added products.

Welcoming the announcement, P.K. Deivasigamani, president of Turmeric Farmers Association of India, said that the high production cost, water scarcity, poor quality seeds and longer period of 280-day for harvesting are major challenges for farmers that led to drop in area under cultivation.

Quality seeds that can give curcumin content of 7%, grown in shorter period of less than 220 days, modern processing and grading, and online procurement by traders across the globe would benefit the farmers at large, he added.

Farmers said that production cost of turmeric per quintal comes to ₹9,000 whereas it is sold at not more than ₹7,000.

“We need quality seeds to enhance productivity with curcumin content of over 7% to stay in the market”, said V.K. Rajamanickam, former secretary, Erode Turmeric Merchants and Godown Owners Association (Erode Manjal Vanigarkal Matrum Kidangu Urimaiyalargal Sangam).

He said that new seed would help them improve productivity and face competition from Maharashtra and tap the market globally.