1. Agriculture World

Betel leaves producers from Tirur seeks Government’s help for global promotion

Chintu Das
Chintu Das
Betel Leaves

Farmers of Tirur betel leaf have approached the Centre with a request to take some steps to increase the value of the GI-tagged Tirur Vettila, which has medicinal properties. According to the Tirur Betel Leaf Producers Society, this will open up new prospects for the commodity in international markets.

The Society has urged the government to include the product in trade promotion campaigns organized by the relevant ministries in both domestic and foreign in order to maximize the benefits of the GI tag.

Beerankutty Melethil, Secretary, Tirur Betel Leaf Producers Society, urged the Centre to reinstate Tirur vettila exports and promote its quality and uniqueness through the Ministry's various schemes, processes, and the government's mission abroad in a memorandum sent to Union External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar.

Tirur vettila is grown on 266 hectares in Tirur, Kerala's Malappuram district, and is known for its high total chlorophyl and protein content in fresh leaves. Tirur vettila's main essential oil, eugenol, contributes to its pungency, and it has a longer shelf life than other betel leaves. According to science, Tirur vettila has a higher antioxidant content, which adds to its medicinal properties. Melethil claims that this cultivar of betel leaf is more pungent than others.

The society demanded that the Minister give an urgent directive to national agricultural institutes to perform research on medicinal properties in order to expand Tirur vettila's use in ayurveda. The government should encourage the product's use in the manufacture of ayurvedic medicines and include it in farm tourism and Ayush initiatives.

Last year's lockdown caused farmers to postpone harvesting in June and July. However, the resumption of train services aided in the recovery of some demand in North Indian markets, though on a more modest scale.

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