Over 30 turmeric growers from Chamarajanagar district got a first look of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research-Central Food Technological Research Institute’s (CSIR-CFTRI) new turmeric processing plant at the institute’s Food Processing Pilot Plant here on Friday.
Farmers of different age groups belonging to the Kamadhenu Arishina Belegarara Sangha witnessed the technology work in stages – from the chopping of turmeric rhizomes to its powdering.
Senior scientists explained the process and how the technology could be adopted by turmeric growers for getting higher returns for their produce. Farmers later interacted with them and got answers to their queries on the process.
Wearing white aprons provided by the institute, enthusiastic farmers listened to scientists explaining how the technological marvel could provide larger outputs of turmeric powder than the traditional process.
Chamarajanagar district, one of the State’s most backward districts and largest turmeric-growing area in the State, was identified under CSIR-800, an initiative to bring CFTRI’s technologies to the masses, and accordingly farmers were being sensitised about them.
In recent months, scientists have visited turmeric-growing areas in the district and educated growers about the technology and other issues.
Farmers were invited to CFTRI on Friday to witness the working of the technology.
NABARD, Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Agriculture Technology Management Agency and Department of Horticulture had lent support to CFTRI. Representatives of these institutions were present during the demonstration.
CSIR-800 coordinator and chief scientist Renu Agrawal said: “Chamarajanagar is the first district being covered under the programme in the State. We aim to empower farmers with our technologies.”
She added that a subsidy was being sought from the government for establishing the turmeric processing plant in Chamarajanagar. Steps are being taken to sign a memorandum of understanding for maize processing in the district.
Ravi Kumar, turmeric farmer and sangha member, said other farmers had joined hands with the sangha to get the benefits of this technology.
After watching the demonstration, Satish, a young turmeric farmer, said the technology was useful and suitable for maximising crop returns. “We need subsidies for setting up the processing plant. As we are small farmers, funding is an issue which needs to be addressed,” he said.
On the occasion, the production of virgin coconut oil from coconuts was demonstrated.
V.S. Sharma, Senior Principal Scientist, Information and Publicity, CSIR-CFTRI was present.
The technology can provide larger turmeric output than the traditional crushing process