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Growing, Processing and Selling Turmeric in Punjab: Live and Learn

Amit Bhatt
Amit Bhatt
Gurdial Singh at Stall

Gurdial Singh is a turmeric farmer residing in district Gurdaspur of Punjab. He has released his video on FTB and talks about turmeric and turmeric cultivation. 

He started turmeric farming in 2004. He started farming on a small scale and after good returns on his investment he slowly increased the size of his farming land. He went from 1 kanal to 2 kanal, then to 4 kanal and he hasn't stopped yet. What you earn depends on the quality of what you sell and there are profits and losses in every business. 

He said he is grateful to the Horticulture Department and Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Gurdaspur because in 2007 they helped him setup a Turmeric processing Plant. The horticulture department gave a subsidy of Rs. 1.5  Lacs ,for this purpose. This plant helps in processing turmeric grown over 25-30 acres of land. The varieties of turmeric grown on these farms are: Punjab Haldi 1, Punjab Haldi 2, Rajapuri among others. Punjab haldi 1 gives output of upto 110 quintals, Punjab Haldi 2 gives output up to 130 quintals. His own farms produce turmeric up to 5 quintals. 

He then talks of the process involved in growing the turmeric plants. You can farm turmeric on small level or large level. He talks of the machines and the labour, the fertilizers and the pesticide sprays that you would need when cultivating turmeric in your farm. You should also use multi-cropping to maintain the fertility of your soil. Cultivating turmeric is a water intensive task and hence you need proper arrangements for irrigation. The turmeric seeds germinate after 35-40 days. The best time to sow your seeds is April to May. The turmeric crops take 10 months to grow to full size. The rhizomes are cut off from the plants and stored. Sometimes the rhizomes have mud over them, which you will have to clean.

Then he explains the process by which the rhizomes are processed into turmeric powder. After some period in storage the rhizomes are placed in boilers, which vary in sizes of 1 to 5 or more quintals. The water is boiled till it releases steam well. Once the rhizomes have boiled well, these are dried for 4-5 days. Then these are cleaned up with their skin peeled off. Finally these are grinded in grinders which are again of different sizes and types, with different grinding capabilities hence providing different type of turmeric powders, which can be packed into small poly packets or small plastic containers. 

Honey and contact details of Gurdial Singh

He is able to sell 1 kg turmeric powder at Rs 115. If sold raw you can get up to Rs.1500 per quintal of your produce. Hence you can earn more by processing your turmeric. There are now newer methods, to grow turmeric with machinery and inorganic fertilizers, which will increase your productivity.

He said, agriculture department, ATMA (Agricultural Technology Management Agency), horticulture department, Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) Ludhiana are all here to educate, train and help us, the farmers. Sometimes these institutions give the farmers new type of seeds to boost production, vegetable and organic farmers are also given knowledge to improve their farming methods.

Lockdown has created problems for farmers in selling their produce, hence Mr Singh now can be contacted for home delivery in his local area. Local banks have been helpful to the farmers who have taken loans from these together and bought machinery like tractors which they take turns in ploughing their fields. He lists the personalities in farming sector in Punjab, some already known to public and some new. They specialize in different techniques and farming methods and can be approached for their guidance. He talks of their associations and organizations and the functions they hold to share and spread their knowledge in farming and business. 

He uses whatsapp and likes to use the apni kheti app through which most of the Punjab farmers are linked with each other and you can discuss or raise any topic related to any type of farming activity and you will be given a solution. The other business that he owns is beekeeping, for producing honey. He said he enjoys farming and sales activity with his community, where all of them come together and help each other and thanked FTB for providing him the platform to share his views with wider community of farmers. In the end he mentioned his mobile number 9463226244, where you can contact him via whatsapp for any informational or sales needs.

Gurdial Singh

Gurdial Singh

Gurdaspur, Punjab

Turmeric farming. Udmi kisan awardee

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