Berhampur, Feb 13 (LocalWire) Export of spices, especially turmeric, from tribal dominated Kandhamal district is likely to get a boost following modernization and exposition of spices processing unit of Kandhamal Apex Spices Association for Marketing (KASAM) with replacing of its 18-year old existing old processing machines.
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik inaugurated the new processing unit, located at Bandhaguda in Phiringia block during his recent visit to the district.
The processing capacity of the unit was enhanced from 2000 metric tone to 5000 metric tones and some modern equipment, including packing machines, have been installed,” said Deputy Director of Horticulture (DDH) Manoj Das.
Total cost of the project, established under Rastriya Krushi Vikash Yojana (RKVY), was around Rs 3.50 crore, he said.
KASAM is an apex society of around 12,000 farmers in five blocks of the district which procures various spices from its members.
The organization processes spices like turmeric, ginger and mustard, and export them to different countries, besides supplying to different states of the country.
KASAM is now making turmeric powder, ginger slices and mustard powder, which are in high demand abroad, including European countries, said its secretary Sanjeet Patnaik.
With the increasing of capacity of the processing unit, he said, the society would procure more quantities of these products from the farmers for which they could earn more profit.
Spices like turmeric and ginger are high in demand in foreign countries due to they are organic and have multiple health benefits and uses, he said.
Turmeric can be used for facial, medicinal and consumption purpose, said Patnaik.
The Control Union Certifications has certified the spice products of KASAM as organic, he added.
Last year, around 1400 tones of processed turmeric were exported to different countries, while around 700 tones of the product have been exported this year so far.
“The export quantities of turmeric decreased this year, as the processing unit was closed for some months for modernization,” added Patnaik.
Raw spices, mainly turmeric, are procured from around 13,000 farmers.
Last year around 25,000 metric tones of dry turmeric was produced.
“This year, we expect to produce over 26,000 metric tones. Turmeric was cultivated in around 13,000 hectares in the district,” said the DDH.