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Beyond spice to medicine, culture, & more

  • Category
    Geography
  • Published
    6th Jan, 2024

Context

Turmeric, a multi-faceted commodity, is now on board with the recent establishment of the Turmeric Board by India government.

Turmeric: India's Golden Spice in the Modern Age

Ayurveda and Medicinal Properties: Ayurveda, the ancient Indian medical system, recognizes turmeric for its medicinal properties. Recent global research has heightened interest in its biomedical potential, particularly in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. Curcuminoids and turmerin, key compounds in turmeric, exhibit anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, anti-rheumatic, and anticancer properties.

Rise of the Turmeric Board: To address the growing importance of turmeric, the Indian Government has established the Turmeric Board, headquartered in Telangana. This initiative aims to provide leadership, enhance efforts, and foster coordination among various government bodies and the Spices Board for the development and growth of the turmeric sector.

Global Dominance: India dominates the global turmeric market, accounting for over 62% of the world's turmeric trade in 2022-23. The Turmeric Board envisions further growth, targeting a $1 billion in exports by 2030. More than 380 exporters facilitate the export of 1.534 lakh tonnes of turmeric and turmeric products, valued at $207.45 million, with primary destinations including Bangladesh, UAE, USA, and Malaysia.

Quality Assurance Challenges: As turmeric gains popularity, concerns about adulteration and contamination rise. The Turmeric Board must play a pivotal role in ensuring the quality of this precious spice, preventing economic loss, and maintaining the nation's reputation on the global stage.

Diversification into Floriculture: Turmeric's versatility extends to floriculture, with certain species cherished as cut flowers. The unique genus, Curcuma, finds applications in religion, medicine, aromatherapy, cosmetics, dye, and floriculture. The Turmeric Board is poised to lead this revolution in diversifying turmeric's applications.

Biomedical Marvels: Recent scientific interest has uncovered the biomedical potential of turmeric, particularly its key compounds – curcuminoids and turmerin. These molecules showcase anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, anti-rheumatic, and anticancer properties, positioning turmeric as a valuable asset in modern medicine.

Way Forward: The establishment of the Turmeric Board marks a significant milestone in recognizing turmeric's potential across various sectors. From its historical roots to its emergence as a biomedical marvel, turmeric is on the cusp of attaining the same stature as other esteemed spices. The Turmeric Board is set to lead India's golden spice into a new era of growth, innovation, and global recognition.

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