SHILLONG: Aiming to harness the potential of Lakadong turmeric, Meghalaya government has come up with Lakadong Mission Document launched by Governor Ganga Prasad, to set a target of production to 50,000 Metric Tonnes of Lakadong in a period of five years.
Over 450 Turmeric farmers from the Laskein and Thadlaskien Block of Jaintia Hills attended the programme held at the State Convention center on Tuesday.
With the launch of the Mission Lakadong, the state government is looking at area expansion from 6367 acres (2577 hectare) to 15000 acres (6070 hectares) to increase productivity to 8 MT per hectare.
Ascertaining that the total production is just about 10,000 MT per year, Prasad said, “This kind of volume is not sufficient to create a global footprint for our Lakadong turmeric. So there is a need to undertake a mission mode intervention to increase the production of Lakadong turmeric to at least 50,000 MT per year and more than double the area.”
In his speech, the Governor informed he visited the Shangpung area and interacted with farmers, cooperative societies and processing organizations.
“My visit was very educative to me and has personally requested the state government to launch a Mission Lakadong to take it to the next level. The Government proposes to make an investment of Rs 75 crore to be spent over a period of five years to promote Lakadong turmeric in the state,” he said.
He assured to commit some funds from the Raj Bhavan to support the mission within the allocated funds of Raj Bhavan.
According to him, the farmers should avoid marketing the raw rhizomes and instead market the value added products like the turmeric powder and turmeric oil which will fetch better price for them.
Prasad said, “The Mission Lakadong should not only concentrate on area expansion, it should also look at inducing technologies for value addition at the level of the farmers. We should encourage job creating entrepreneurship activities to emerge in the Jaintia Hills region through Lakadong.”