By Rudra Narayan Sahoo
Kandhamal: TURMERIC product from Kandhamal district of Orissa has become one of the recipes of food items of foreign land. The Organic Turmeric has hit the export market. It is slowly getting its pie in the international organic spices market. Now organic food lovers of European countries are getting the taste of Kandhamal Turmeric. Last year, the total export value of Kandhamal Organic Tumeric product stood at Rs 1.25 crore. Thanks to the KASAM's (Kandhamal Apex Spices Association for Marketing Kandhamal) pioneer initiative to mobilise the local resources to cultivate the organic products like turmeric and ginger. With growing popularity of organic foods in Europe and North America, Kandhamal Turmeric is set to enlist its name as important product in the organic food market of Europe.
Role of KASAM for Organic Food Revolution :
Kandhamal Turmeric has its name in the Orissa Agricultural Map. The turmeric power enjoys good reputation in the local market. However, few years back, its production took a quantum leap. KASAM (Kandhamal Apex Spices Association for Marketing) took initiative and organised the 61 turmeric growing societies. Now it has 12,000 tribal farmers with 68 women self help groups. This is an organic product with certified by SKAL Netherland with "EKO". During cultivation, no chemical fertilisers, pesticides are used. No artificial colours and essence are added to it. It is best for health and skin care. As a result, it has gained good market share in International and Local market.
Orissa Government's Role and Omfed's marketing initiative:
Turmeric has been identified as a potential ingredient in Ayurvedic medicines. In view of the potential of this products, state proposed for the AEZ. The zone covers the districts of Kandhamal. In principal approval for setting up of Agri Export Zone was given by Steering Committee of Agricultural Export and Processing Export Development Authority (AEPEDA).Orissa state government has set up an Organic Model plants with assistance from AEPEDA.
An investment of Rs. 6.03 crore has been envisaged in the zone with private participation of Rs. 3.03 crore. Meanwhile, Orissa Milk Federation (OMFED) has taken the charge of marketing of turmeric products in domestic markets. It is available in 50 gm, 100 gm, 200 gm and 500 gm packs. It also supplies bulk and finger form. The domestic demand for organic turmeric product is growing day by day.
Potential of World Organic Food Market and India's Role:
The global demand of organic products is increasing. Particularly in the developed countries like European countries, Japan, the USA and Australia, the organic food market is rapidly growing. The current estimated share of organic foods in these countries is approximately 1 to 1.5%. Worldwide, food trends are changing with a marked health orientation. Since organic foods are free from chemical contaminants, the demand for these products will steadily increase in the new millennium.
In the same way India's role in the world organic food market will increase. Organic cultivation is nothing new to India. The country has always been practising the traditional ways of using indigenous technologies and inputs mostly in line with modern organic farming principles. The per capita consumption of fertilizers and pesticides in India is far below that of developed countries. Which means, it is very easy for Indian farmers to adopt organic spice farming in its true sense.
When the future of organic food products in the global market looks promising, the Kandhamal organic turmeric product can have more market share in the international market in near future.
The state government should play more pro-active role in popularising the Kandhamal turmeric, so that the tribal community will get more fair prices. In the same time research and development activities should be undertaken to improve the productivity of turmeric sown areas.