Visakhapatnam, April 27: Call it a COVID effect, Integrated Tribal Development Authority (ITDA)  has decided to invest Rs 100 crore in turmeric cultivation in Vizag agency after reports suggested that curcumin rich turmeric boosts immunity.

Turmeric is one of the largest cash crops in the Vizag agency. Farmers usually put up their produce for sale from March to May. The average yield of turmeric is around 8 tonnes per hectare.

Project officer of ITDA, DK Balaji said  he has suggested officials of agriculture and horticulture departments to encourage the farmers to cultivate turmeric which has a rich medicinal value.

DK Balaji said that they have permitted the sale and procurement of turmeric in few areas of the Vizag Agency. He said seeds of short gestation varieties –Pragathi, Pratibha, and Roma — would be given to the farmers.

This project would be implemented for the next five years. In the first year, 2,000 acres of land will be brought under turmeric cultivation. Around 700 kgs of seeds were required for each acre.

“The farmers have to pay an amount of Rs 3,360, for the 700 kgs pack”,   he said.

The crop will keep the farmers busy throughout the year and wean them away from growing ganja, agency sources said.

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