Jamaican turmeric destined to become one of the country's prime export crops — FAOThursday, February 25, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica — Jamaica will today enter the first phase of developing its turmeric industry with a workshop introducing a new technology to intensify turmeric production and will seek to develop turmeric as a prime export crop by the end of 2021.
This will be done through a partnership with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the Research and Development Division of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries and the Jamaica Agricultural Commodities Regulatory Authority (JACRA).
According to the FAO, presently, almost 90 per cent of the dried turmeric used in Jamaica is imported despite it being said that Jamaican turmeric contains strong characteristics in flavour, colour and curcumin content.
The organisation said the workshop on the rapid multiplication of turmeric through the single bud technology is the first of a series of trainings geared towards disseminating the technology across Jamaica to enable plant nurseries to grow and multiply quality turmeric planting material.
It is being delivered by FAO Expert and Plant Pathologist Professor Duraisamy Saravanakumar. Approximately 80 public sector technical officers, the private sector, and plant nursery operators will be trained in the benefits and implementation of this technology, which is successfully being used in India to grow spices, the FAO said.
Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Floyd Green, remarked during the opening of the workshop that by increasing commercial turmeric cultivation, Jamaican farmers would see a 65 per cent profit margin per cycle whilst also enhancing the socio-economic well-being of many of our rural communities.
He added that the technology being introduced was critical to applying good agricultural practices to ensure that the country could drive the growth of quality turmeric.
The organisation said the turmeric pilot project is a one year 20-acre pilot that will involve turmeric nurseries, farmers, exporters and processors, significant public and private investment, training and research and development trials.
By December 2021, the pilot is anticipated to result in a 25 per cent increase in national turmeric production, the creation of approximately 34 jobs, and the training of farmers in good agricultural practices and new technologies in order to increase yields by 100 per cent, the organisation said.
It added that the cost of turmeric production is expected to decrease by approximately 33 per cent allowing pilot farmers to earn up to $26 million from sales.
Within the next five years, it is expected that the industry will grow and reach full potential on the global market and provide quality home-grown materials to the island's sauces and seasoning manufacturers, the FAO predicted.
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