Turmeric produced by farmers is now called Kandhamal Haldi after the product acquired this Geographical Indication (GI) tag on April 1 this year. Talking to ANI, Sanjit Kumar Patnaik, Secretary, Kandhamal Apex Spices Association for Marketing (KASAM), said, "Turmeric produced by tribal farmers has got GI tag on April 1 this year as 'Kandhamal Haldi."
"Turmeric produced in Kandhamal is organic by default because farmers use traditional methods of production and no fertiliser is used," he said. Patnaik said: "The farming for turmeric is done during monsoon season and takes one year to get completed. After this, turmeric is taken to processing unit it after which it is sold in the market."
"The cultivation for turmeric is done on 13,000 hectares in Kandhamal. Overall 1.23 lakh metric tonne wet turmeric and 25,000 metric tonne dry turmeric are produced," he added. The Secretary said: "KASAM was formed to process the farm produce done by tribal farmers and our main product is turmeric...Before KASAM was formed in 2000, there were middlemen who sold turmeric at higher prices after buying from farmers."
He said: "Now we have fixed a benchmark price of Rs 60 per kg from the farmer. We have to increase awareness so that middlemen do not get involved and disturb pricing of turmeric." "We are also starting the process of registration of farmers so that transactions can be made online. The turmeric has great market potential in European countries and it will increase as the product has now GI tag," he added. (ANI)