Ahead of Telangana elections, Turmeric Board constituted

A view of an Indian turmeric market.

A view of an Indian turmeric market. , Photo Credit: The Hindu

The Centre on Wednesday notified the constitution of the National Turmeric Board, a long-standing demand of turmeric farmers across the country. The Board, the Union Commerce Ministry said, will focus on the development and growth of turmeric and turmeric products in the country.

The decision comes ahead of the Assembly elections in Telangana, which is the second largest producer of turmeric after Maharashtra.

Union Tourism and Culture Minister Kishan Reddy announced the decision after a meeting of the Cabinet. Mr. Reddy said the Centre fulfilled a long-pending demand of farmers from Telangana and other turmeric-growing States. He added that farmers in Telangana had been walking barefoot for the last 15 years protesting the delay in the establishment of the board. He said that BJP cadres distributed slippers to the farmers in Telangana after the announcement.

Union Information Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur, who also addressed the press conference, said the Centre has decided to increase turmeric exports to ₹8,400 crore per annum by 2030 from the existing ₹1,600 crore.

The Ministry said in the release that the Board will have a Chairperson, who will be appointed by the Centre. It will have members from the Ministry of AYUSH, Department of Pharmaceuticals, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Ministry of Commerce & Industry and senior State Government representatives from three states on a rotational basis. Select national/State institutions involved in research, representatives of turmeric farmers and exporters will also be members in the board. A secretary will be appointed to the Board by the Commerce Ministry.

The Ministry noted that India is the largest producer, consumer and exporter of turmeric in the world. “In the year 2022-23, an area of ​​3.24 lakh hectares was under turmeric cultivation in India with a production of 11.61 lakh tonnes (over 75% of global turmeric production),” the Ministry said adding that India has 62% share of world trade in turmeric. “The largest producing states of Turmeric are Maharashtra, Telangana, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu,” the release said.

National Turmeric Board HQ yet to be decided: Kishan Reddy

Mr. Reddy has also clarified that while the Union Cabinet had approved the formation of the NTB, a decision on where it will be headquartered has not yet been taken.

Mr. Reddy, also the TS BJP president, said the Ministry of Commerce will be the nodal department providing funds and infrastructure for the NTB, which will look into increased demand, usage, production, research, market linkage, exports and so on.

Turmeric is grown in 3.24 lakh hectares in the country producing about 11.61 lakh tonnes output or 75% of the world output. It is grown highest in Maharashtra followed by Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Odisha and 16 other States.

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