TRS MP seeks ban on cheap turmeric import from Cambodia

Hyderabad: TRS MP Kalvakuntla Kavitha has requested the Centre to stop import of cheap turmeric from Cambodia, saying the trend would hurt domestic farmers.

“Once cheap turmeric comes in, it looks like a substitute, people will be using it for various purposes and once they are used to paying low price, they will not pay the same price to (domestic) farmers,” Kavitha said.

“Earlier, the same thing happened with rubber,” she said, adding that when India had started importing cheap rubber from Cambodia and other countries, the “rubber farmers started committing suicide in Kerala”.

“It hurts indigenous farmers quite a bit,” she told PTI.

Telangana accounts for 60 per cent of the total turmeric produced in India, according to the Lok Sabha member from Nizamabad.

Kavitha, daughter of Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, said that as of now the cheap turmeric imports from Cambodia is “not much but the trend itself should not start”.

She recently met yoga guru Baba Ramdev and requested him to set up a turmeric plant by Patanjali, a company run by him, in Nizamabad. “He responded positively, hopefully something will come out of it. He will get a technical survey done,” she said.

She said she has also sought Ramdev’s support for the “turmeric cause”.

She had been demanding that the Centre form a separate Board for turmeric on the lines of Rubber and Coffee Board. “If turmeric board is established separately, there will be more focus on the crop, research, etc.”

More than 50 spices are under the purview of Spices Board and not much focus is given to turmeric, she said.