Turmeric Farming Business in India - A Complete Guide

Turmeric is a South Asian perennial herb. It has another name, “Indian Saffron,” and is considered a sacred spice in India. It is a crucial ingredient in Indian cuisine and is used as a flavouring and colouring agent. Because of its anti-cancer and anti-viral properties, it is used in the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries. In addition, turmeric plays an essential role in religious and ceremonial occasions. Rhizomes are used in plant propagation. Its leaves are long, broad, and bright green, and its flowers are pale yellow. Turmeric is the world’s largest producer, consumer, and exporter. In India, turmeric is primarily grown in Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, West Bengal, Karnataka, and Kerala.

Soil for Turmeric Farming

When grown in well-drained loamy soils, it presents the best results, but it can also be grown in sandy, clay loam, or red loamy soils. We should avoid water stagnation in the field because it cannot survive in soggy conditions. After choosing soil, prepare it with excellent farming machines like New Holland 3600 and others. 

Popular Varieties 

Punjab Haldi No. 1 is a medium-sized plant with green leaves and long, medium-thick rhizomes. The flesh is a dark yellow colour, and the skin is brown. It is ready to harvest in 215 days and has a yield of 108 QTL/acre.

Punjab Haldi 2: A tall variety with broad, light green leaves and long, thick rhizomes. The flesh is yellow, and the skin is brown. It is ready to harvest in 240 days and produces an average yield of 122 QTL/acre.

Amalapuram, Erode, Krishna, Armour, Dindigam, Kodur, Vontimitra, GL Purm I and II, P317, RH2, RH10, Rajapuri, Salem, Nizamabad bulb and Sangli turmeric are also popular varieties. 

Land Preparation 

You have to plough the land twice or three times to prepare the field. Therefore, we should do planking after ploughing. Beds of 15cm height, 1m width, and a convenient length are prepared for turmeric planting. Maintain a 50cm space between beds. You can use quality farming equipements like Eicher Tractor 242 and others to prepare the land. 

Sowing 

To maximise yield, finish rhizome sowing in the field by the end of April. It is also raised by transplanting, and rhizome transplantation should be completed within the first two weeks of June. A seedling that is 35-45 days old is used for transplanting. You should sow rhizomes in a row with a 30 cm distance between rows and a 20 cm distance between plants. After rhizome planting, straw mulch is applied to the field at a rate of 2.5 tonnes per acre. Soil depth should not exceed 3 cm. Planting is accomplished through the direct sowing and transplanting method.

Seeds 

Select fresh and diseased free rhizomes are used for sowing. A seed rate of 6-8 QTL seed rate is adequate for sowing one acre of land. Before sowing, prepare a solution of Quinalphos 25EC@20ml + Carbendazim@10gm/10Ltr of water and treat the rhizomes. Then soak the rhizomes in the solution for 20 minutes. It guards against the fungal infestation of rhizomes.

Fertiliser 

Apply well-decomposed cow dung to the soil at a 150 QTL/acre rate during field preparation. Use N:P:K@10:10:10 kg/acre in the form of urea (25 kg/acre), SSP (60 kg/acre), and MOP (16 kg/acre). At the time of rhizome planting, a full dose of Potash and Phosphorus is applied. Nitrogen is administered in two equal doses. The first half of the N dose is administered 75 days after planting, with the remaining half administered three months later.

Weed Control 

Within two to three days of planting rhizomes, apply Pendimethalin 30EC@800ml per acre or Metribuzin 70WP@400gm/acre in 200Ltr of water. Cover the field with green manure or paddy straw after weedicide application. The earthing up operation is carried out to promote root development. Perform the first earthing operation after 50-60 days of planting, followed by the second after 40 days.

Plant Protection 

Blight and leaf spots: If blight and leaf spot infestations are observed, apply a spray of Mancozeb@30 gm or Carbendazim@30 gm in 10 ltr water intervals of 15-20 minutes, alternately. Alternatively, spray with Propiconazole at a 2ml/ltr of water rate.

Root or Rhizome Rot: Drench crops with Mancozeb@3gm/Ltr at 30, 60, and 90 days after planting to prevent root rot.

Bacterial wilt: Drench plants with Copper oxychloride@3gm/Ltr of water immediately after the disease is detected in the field to prevent bacterial wilt.

Leaf Blotch: To control an infestation, spray Mancozeb@20gm or Copper oxycloride@25gm/10Ltr of water.

Rhizome fly: To control rhizome fly infestations in the field, spray Acephate 75SP@600gm in 100Ltr of water. Repeat the spray at a 15-day interval.

Sucking pest: To control sucking pests, use a neem-based pesticide such as Azadirachtin 0.3EC @ 2 ml/Ltr of water.

Shoot borer: To control shoot borer, spray Dimethoate@250ml/150Ltr or Quinalphos@250ml/150Ltr of water.

Irrigation 

It is grown as a rainfed crop, so irrigation is provided based on rainfall intensity and frequency. Therefore, 35-40 irrigations are required throughout the life cycle of light-textured soil. After planting, the crop is mulched with green leaves at a rate of 40-60 QTL/acre. After each fertiliser application, mulch at a 30 QTL/acre rate.

Harvesting 

Harvesting time ranges from 6 to 9 months, depending on the variety. When the turmeric leaves turn yellow and completely dry out, it is time to harvest them. First, dig out rhizomes and clean rhizomes after harvesting. Then, hang them to dry for 2-3 days in the shade. It will harden the peel and make it easier to boil.

Post Harvest 

Following cleaning, the rhizomes are boiled for 1 hour in water containing sodium bicarbonate (100gm sodium bicarbonate in 100Ltr water). Utensils, kadhai, and boilers are used to boil rhizomes. Stop boiling when froth appears, and white fumes emit a typical odour to obtain a higher quality product (Price deciding factor). Rhizomes are adequately dried for 10-15 days after boiling. After proper drying, rhizomes are polished manually with wire mesh, gunny bags, or mechanically with a power-operated drum. The polished rhizomes are graded based on size, shape, and colour.

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