Centre says no to turmeric board

Centre says no to turmeric board
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The Centre has out-rightly rejected the proposal of the state government to set up a turmeric board at Nizamabad and has instead suggested establishing a spice park. Union Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitaraman said here on Saturday that Telangana could not be given a turmeric board. Speaking to the media on the sidelines of a three-year review of her department here on Saturday, she said one could n

New Delhi: The Centre has out-rightly rejected the proposal of the state government to set up a turmeric board at Nizamabad and has instead suggested establishing a spice park. Union Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitaraman said here on Saturday that Telangana could not be given a turmeric board. Speaking to the media on the sidelines of a three-year review of her department here on Saturday, she said one could not have a board for a single spice like turmeric.

Referring to the repeated appeals of the Telangana government, Sitaraman said the turmeric board could not be established in the state as it would neither fulfill the criteria nor help the state much. Instead, the state should go in for a spice park and prefer quality addition to the produce in Telangana. That would benefit the farmers a lot and along with turmeric a couple of more spices could be identified and marketed from there.

Sitaraman said she was awaiting the state government's nod for the same. Spice park would help the farmers in processing and value addition of Spice products with its processing facilities with international standards.

A regional crop specific spices park would be a well-conceived approached to have an integrated operation for cultivation, post harvesting, processing for value addition, packaging storage and exports of spices and spice products by meeting the quality specifications of the consuming countries, she added asking the Telangana government to choose one. The Centre, the state and the private parties could be partners in the venture, she suggested.

The park could be established on the lines of the ones existing in Guntur and Karnataka, she added. Such a Spices Development Agency would be a boon to Telangana, Sitaraman said.

It may be recalled that the turmeric board for Nizamabad has been a long pending demand of the Telangana farmers. Both Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao and Nizamabad MP K Kavita have been very passionate about it. They have appealed to the Union Minister at least a dozen times in the past.

Reacting to this, All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) national vice-president Sarampalli Malla Reddy said the spices park would not of any help to the farmers. If a board is constituted it would help in guiding the farmers in deciding the area in which the turmeric crop can be sown and would also help in regulating the price of the produce.

In Telangana only two important spices are grown one is chilli and the other is turmeric. “How a spices park would help the farmers is not clear to me.” The government, he said, should take up the issue again with the Centre and see that the state gets turmeric board.

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