The announcement was made by Union Minister for Commerce Piyush Goyal in New Delhi after a meeting with a delegation led by Nizamabad MP Arvind Dharmapuri.

No turmeric board for Nizamabad Centre announces regional centre of Spices Board
news Agriculture Wednesday, February 05, 2020 - 12:30

In a setback to the farmers in Telangana's Nizamabad, who had been persistently demanding for a separate turmeric board, the Centre on Tuesday announced that it was upgrading the divisional office of the Spices Board of India in the district to a regional office and extension centre. There was no mention of the turmeric board. 

The announcement was made by Union Minister for Commerce Piyush Goyal in New Delhi after a meeting with a delegation led by Nizamabad MP Arvind Dharmapuri from the BJP. “Since there is a lot of spices production in Nizamabad, particularly turmeric and chilli, we have decided that we will strengthen the activities in Telangana, particularly in the areas around Nizamabad, Adilabad and Karimnagar," Goyal told reporters.

The regional office and extension centre will now be headed by a Deputy Director-level officer who will look after the activities of promoting exports and production and quality of the spices in the region, he added.

Turmeric and red sorghum farmers in Nizamabad district have been demanding a separate board be set up for turmeric for many years now. According to them, the area, which accounts for the bulk of turmeric production in the country, would greatly benefit from a separate board, as it would ensure a Minimum Support Price (MSP), besides giving them other benefits.

Many farmer leaders had also filed their nominations in the Assembly and Lok Sabha polls in Telangana to highlight their issue. In fact, it is widely believed that Nizamabad MP Arvind Dharampuri was voted into power because he had promised to lobby with the Centre for the board. However, they have accused him of going back on his promise after becoming an MP.

Responding to the latest move, Telangana Kisan Congress president Anvesh Reddy told TNM, "This is a deviation. The regional centre won’t be of any help. Only turmeric board will solve our crisis. If a turmeric board comes, processing units also would be set up here, and the exports would be done from the state itself." 

He added that if the board is set up, they would be able to fix a minimum support price. 

According to Piyush Goyal, the Director (Marketing) of the Spices Board would monitor the activities every month for the next two years and report to the Ministry and to Goyal directly, "to ensure that we can significantly upgrade the quality, productivity and exports from the region". 

When asked about the Turmeric Board, BJP MP Arvind defended the Centre's move and suggested that the regional centre of the Spices Board was a better deal, as it would help in coordination with the Centre, where the quality, production and export of the crop was concerned.

Anvesh, on the other hand, said, “The Spices Bboard is not at all a revolutionary reform as it is being publicised. Previously, the TRS government also brought a similar extension which did not benefit any farmer.”


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