Friday, June 7, 2013

CIPHET trained farmer establishes turmeric processing unit

Ludhiana, June 7:

The training programme initiated by the Central Institute of Post-Harvest Engineering and Technology (CIPHET) for processing of haldi(turmeric) has come to rescue of highly indebted farmers of Gurdaspur, who had lost lakhs of rupees after steep fall in prices of turmeric crops last year.

Chanchal Singh, who has got training from CIPHET, has established state of art haldi processing unit in his village Lehal of Gurdaspur with technical support of the institute. A team of experts headed by Senior Scientist Dr D.M Kadam and Technical Official Mr O.P Moondan visited the site of unit to provide him further technical assistance.

"Last year I had grown turmeric crop in more than 30 acres taken on rent and like me large number of farmers in Gurdaspur district invested in this crop inspired from high prices in year 2011," said Chanchal, adding that in year 2012 prices suddenly fell to level of just Rs 5 kg, which was around Rs 90 per kg (for seeds) year before because of large number of farmers were rushing to get seeds expecting golden returns.

Chanchal Singh, who retired as BSF Sub-Inspector, said that it was very late when they realized that prices would fall drastically as large numbers of farmers were ready with crop. "Supply exceeded demand manytimes," he added. But still prices of the processed turmeric powder sold by leading brands remained constant, which made me to think to sell processed turmeric instead of raw crop.

After getting training from the CIPHET, I established this unit having capacity of more than 70 quintal per day. Chanchal has also come to rescue of large number turmeric growing farmers by taking their crops for processing in Gurdaspur district. "I have paid them much higher than market price," he added. Dr D.M Kadam, Senior Scientist at CIPHET, on visiting the newly established unit said that by processing raw crop turmeric growing farmers could get value addition of more than double. He added that Punjab farmers would also get benefit of saving transportation cost as processed turmeric powder used to come from Southern states. Dr Prasoon Verma, Incharge Head of Transfer of Technology, Division, said that they had initiated turmeric processing training to help farmers from distress sale. Dr S.N Jha, Director (Acting) CIPHET, said that it is a matter of great pleasure and pride that a growers trained at CIPHET has turned to be a processors, which is major aim of ICAR in 12th plan period under secondary Agriculture platform projects. He further added that farmers/entrepreneurs can contact the institute for various training programmes to get benefit of value addition in post-harvest sector. He wished him all success in this endeavour.

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