Spices Farming-Turmeric Farming: Turmeric is one of the widely carried and most demanding crop in the world, especially in India. The dry rhizomes have been a part of Indian routine life since many years. Its uses are indefinable as a flavoring agent, dye, medicine and cosmetic agent. The extensive usage and high requirement in the world have made India as the leading producer and the top exporter in the world. Out of the main producing states in India, Andhra Pradesh alone takes the lion share with nearly 50%. Then, lets see what are the favorable conditions to take up its cultivation.
Climate and Soil
- Turmeric is a herbal plant and grows well in tropic and sub tropical climates. According to experts it thrives well in humid regions.
- Also the regions with a temperature range 25 to 35oC and an annual rainfall of 1550 mm to 2200mm, produce high quality rhizomes.
- Turmeric grows well in different soils, especially clayey and sandy lands where large amount of humus is present.
- Turmeric is also carried as irrigated crop, so make sure which type of crop you are going to adopt.
- Usually the farmers prepare the land with four to five ploughings at the start of monsoon showers.
- Later upon expert advice beds are to be made according to your convenience by leaving a space of 50 cm for each bed.
- On your comfort station, turmeric cultivation can be carried through furrows and ridges method also.
Checking the quality of rhizomes
- Turmeric cultivation is carried by planting rhizomes. So they must be healthy without any diseases.
- According to expert farmers, the whole or split rhizomes are planted in trays for 40 to 50 days.
- At an average, nearly 2500 kilograms of fresh rhizomes are needed for carrying one hectare cultivation.
- Irrigation for turmeric plants completely depend on soil type and weather conditions.
- According to farming experts, heavy soils require nearly 20 to 25 times of irrigation while the light soils need 10 to 15 times more than heavy soils.
Manure adding and fertilizers
- Mostly rhizome based crops require natural fertilizers. That is why maximum farmers avoid adding any chemicals and opt for animal dung.
- From the experts, turmeric crop requires approximately 3 tons of animal dung per acre before the rhizomes are planted.
- Rhizome crops usually face severe threat from weeds. So monthly weeding has to be done either by manually or by spraying chemicals.
- To avoid any fungus and insects, treat the seed rhizomes with necessary fungicides and pesticides at the dosage of 2 grams per one liter water.
- According to farmers, the only pest that affects the crop is shoot borer. For this, they advice to pick the effected one and destroy outside the crop.
- Turmeric crop comes to harvesting stage by the end of 8th or 9th month after plantation. Usually this process takes place in the months of January to March.
- You can start the harvesting process when the leaves turn in to yellow and starts drying.
- Generally rhizomes are taken out from the ground by hand picking. For future use, mother rhizomes are separated as seed material from finger rhizomes.
- Curing is the crucial stage of turmeric cultivation. This is the phase where the farmers boil the rhizomes and dry in the sun.
- Approximately it takes two to three weeks time to get the rhizomes completely dry.
- But before doing this, take the expert advice so that the process is carried successfully without losing the color and odor of the rhizomes.
- Finally improve the quality of appearance by polishing and coloring methods so that your rhizomes get good price in the market.