Telangana government in India sets up special cell for turmeric farmers

The Telangana government has decided to set up a special cell for turmeric farmers which would help in bringing qualitative changes for cultivating turmeric as a commercial crop.

The state government decided on this initiative as the central government turned down its request for setting up a national turmeric board on the lines of Coffee Board or Rubber Board.

The primary demand of turmeric farmers of Telangana for the past 30 years is to form separate national turmeric board for addressing various issues regarding the pre and post harvest practices of turmeric as a crop.

Primarily, the production of turmeric has been fluctuating since last decade where the production has come down to 3 lakh tonnes from 7 lakh tonnes.

Turmeric cultivation in Telangana has suffered primarily due to lack of proper research and no market intervention support from the consecutive governments. Categorised as a commercial crop, turmeric gets no minimum support price that deters farmers from growing it.

On similar lines of separate boards for both silk and rubber, the farmers are demanding a separate National Turmeric Board for the farmers at the national level.

Farmers are also demanding a ban on import of turmeric and a minimum support price to get a better price for the produce.

India is the largest producer of turmeric and also the highest consumer. Out of the whole turmeric produce in the country, only 6 per cent is exported because the facilities for creating special economic zones (SEZs) for promoting turmeric have not been created.

Shekhar Ghosh is consulting editor, Indoasiancommodities.com. He has edited and written for publications like Business India, Business Standard, Business Today, Outlook and many other international publications. He can be reached at shekhar.ghosh@indoasiancommodities.in.

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