TRS MP from Nizamabad K Kavitha urged the Centre on Monday to categorically ban imports of turmeric to India, and also expedite the process for the formation of a Turmeric Board.
In a letter to Union Minister of State, Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman, Kavitha said that unless and until the import of cheaper turmeric varieties into the country was banned, turmeric farmers in India would continue to suffer.
Reiterating a long pending demand for a National Turmeric Board, the MP said that she had repeatedly raised the issue at various forums including during two meetings with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and three meetings with Sitharaman over the past three years.
She pointed out that she had led a delegation of turmeric farmers and met with Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh in May 2016.
She said that she had also raised the issue constantly in the Question Hour of the Lok Sabha.
This move by the TRS MP also comes after she moved a Private Member's Bill on the matter on March 24.
Besides these two issues, Kavitha also told the Union Minister that Telangana had sanctioned Rs 30 crore and acquired 42 acres of land for the setting up of a 'Turmeric Spice Park' at Balkonda in Nizamabad.
Kavitha invited Sitharaman to visit the park and requested the active support of the Centre.
She also asked the Centre to request spice exporters to invest in the park, so that turmeric farmers could get a higher remunerative price.
In September last year, in a letter to the Centre, Kavitha had said, "India accounts for about 80% of the worldâ€™s turmeric production with about 1.5 lakh hectares under cultivation. Telangana occupies almost 40% of this area coverage and 63% of the production share in which my constituency of Nizamabad has one of the largest trading centres in the country."