Lakadong revolution gets WJH woman Padma Shri


NEW DELHI: Trinity Saioo, a turmeric farmer from Mulieh village in West Jaintia Hills, was named as one of the Padma Shri awardees on the eve of Republic day on Saturday.
She is among the unsung heroes who were awarded Padma Shri this year, officials said on Saturday.
Besides Saioo, Sathyanarayan Mundayoor, known as Uncle Moosa of Arunachal Pradesh, who has been promoting education and reading culture in remote areas of Northeastern states for last four decades and Ravi Kannan, an oncologist from Chennai who is treating cancer patients in Assam’s Barak Valley, Assam veterinarian Kushal Konwar Sarma and writer Yeshe Dorjee Thongchi  from Arunachal Pradesh are other awardees from the North East.
Saioo, a state award-winning turmeric farmer, has been leading 800 women in the hill state to cultivate and increase the popularity of Lakadong turmeric.
Lakadong was not a traditional crop in the village that grew another variety of turmeric called Lachein, which has poor curcumin content and less market demand.
In 2003, Saioo, a graduate, planted the lakadong variety in her fields. As her earnings increased, she convinced other villagers to do the same. With the Spices Board by her side, she helped illiterate women to complete their documentation and avail subsidies for seed tubers.
Saioo took training from the state’s Agriculture and Horticulture departments in improving the yield of lakadong.
Awarded by the Union Ministry of Agriculture for excellence in horticulture production, Saioo, a school teacher by profession, was instrumental in convincing the state government to launch the Lakadong Turmeric Mission.
The Department of Agriculture is depending on Saioo’s leadership to take the mission forward so that the farmers expand the area of lakadong farming in West Jaintia Hills.
With the aim of producing 50 metric tonne of turmeric per annum in the next five years, Mission Lakadong’s 2018-2023 objective is to enhance the livelihoods and income opportunities for lakadong turmeric farmers.