Turmeric finds place in every Goan kitchen. In fact no Indian home can do without turmeric. The spice is an integral part of cooking and is used for various purposes such as in medicines, cosmetics, food and beverage, pharmaceuticals, etc. Thanks to its usefulness turmeric has a good market in the state. There is scope for commercial cultivation of turmeric locally however most of the Goan farmers go in for smalltime cultivation due to various reasons. Thanks to negligible local production virtually all the turmeric consumed in the state is from outside.
Local farmers can easily take to commercial cultivation of turmeric as it is commercially viable however it is seen that not much interest is shown by farmers. Only if vacant land is lying between big plants in a Kulagar then farmers go in for intercropping of crops like turmeric, ginger and other spices which brings additional revenue to them, according to the information available from the sources.
It is learnt from the sources that, farmers in the state who cultivate turmeric do it on a small scale. They also earn some revenue by selling turmeric leaves which are used in preparations of sweet food like ‘patolay’.
“The cultivation is done just before the monsoon or during the monsoon season so that there is no need to water the plants. Plants are gathered annually for their rhizomes and when not used fresh, the rhizomes are boiled. There is a process to be followed which is time consuming and one has to put hard work so normally we don’t go for rhizomes processing on commercial basis,” said a farmer.
While another farmer said that nowadays the turmeric are easily available in the market and the rates are also affordable and for cultivation of these crops we have to put extra efforts. The younger generation is going for work so it is difficult to get more hands to work in agricultural fields and after the crop is ready we have to find market for it and so we are not going in for commercial cultivation.
The Goan climate is suitable for plantations of turmeric and there is also a market for the spice. If farmers go in for plantation of nutmeg they will be benefited and the agricultural department provides subsidy for spices cultivation and commercial cultivation of spices is promoted by the agricultural department. The spices promoted are black pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon, turmeric and ginger, according to the information available from the sources.
It is learnt from the sources that there is huge demand for spices in the markets and whatever is produced get sold as the spices apart from what is used in cooking are also used in medicines. Commercial cultivation of spices is profitable, however not much interest is shown by the farmers in the state in commercial cultivation of spices.
An elderly farmer said that the younger generation should take interest in farming and go in for commercial plantation of spices like turmeric which will boost the agricultural sector in the state.
Turmeric’s place in Goa’s agri-produce is negligible however in other states the spice remains important. Major turmeric producing states are the southern states of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, the states of Orissa and West Bengal, and Maharashtra.
India is the world’s largest producer, consumer and exporter of turmeric. Indian turmeric is considered to be the best in the international market because of its high curcumin content. About 80 per cent of world turmeric production and 60 per cent of the world exports are from India. Major turmeric exporting countries apart from India are Thailand, Taiwan and several Southeast Asian, central and Latin American countries. The major turmeric importing countries include Japan, Sri Lanka, Iran, UAE, US, UK and Ethiopia.