Black Turmeric:: Cultivation Practice| Production|Medicinal Importance and Market Price

SUBJECT– Cultivation Practice. Method of Curing of Turmeric. Black Turmeric Market Price.

Introduction

English NameBlack turmeric
Other NameKaali haldi
Scientific NameCurcuma caesia
FamilyZingiberaceae
Native PlaceIndia
TypeMedicinal
Used PartsRoots (rhizomes)
Image: Black Turmeric Plant

Distribution

Black turmeric is native to India. It is found mainly in Northeastern states of India, East Godavari and West Godavari regions, Delhi, Odisha, Central India e. g., Chhattisgarh and Madhyapradesh. In Madhyapradesh and Chhattisgarh it is grown along with other horticultural crops in kitchen garden.

Importance

Black turmeric is an economically important high value plant-crop. The crop is best known for its medicinal properties. It occupies very less area than the commercial cultivated species, Curcuma longa, hence the less supply and valuable medicinal properties help to retain its market price always high.

It is used in traditional medicine system.

Characteristics

Black turmeric is different from common turmeric i. e., Curcuma longa. It can easily be distinguished from other plants (turmeric plants) of the same family. Some characters, i. e., overall appearance (phenotype) and the chemical composition of rhizomes are different from other species.

Leaves

Appearance– leaves are long and broad. Entire midrib and surrounding areas are dark black. Leaf sheath, petiole and leaf blades are green.

Flowers

Shape: the shape of petal resembles pink rose petals.

Colour: colour of the peetal is purple. Base of the patal is somewhat white.

Stem

Many sheath-leaves together form stem which is false stem.

Rhizomes

Roots turn into rhizome after swelling. Rhizomes are over crowded.

Shape: rhizomes are rounded.

Colour: colour of rhizome (inner) is bluish-black.

Life Cycle

Plant is perennial but cultivation and production can be seasonal.

Cultivation Practice

Required Materials

  • Rhizomes: rhizomes are planting material. Rhizomes can be purchased or collected from different places.

Climate

Tropical and subtropical climate is ideal climatic condition for the cultivation/growing of black turmeric. Relatively low temperature hinders rhizome’s growth and development. Continue. Cultivation under high temperature and dryspell is difficult.

High and continuous rainfall can cause rotting of rhizomes. Sunny weather after average rainfall is beneficial for the plant growth.

Soil

Being a root crop it requires light and fertile soil for the proper development of rhizomes. Loam and sandy loam soil is good. It is not an salt loving plant. Soil PH should be 6 – 6.5.

Preparation of land

Soil should be ploughed 2-3 times. Plant ridges should be 15 – 20 cm high. Mix FYM as organic manure as much as possible.

Rhizomes

Rhizome is planting material. Healthy and disease free rhizome should be selected for planting. Round shaped rhizomes, about 20 – 25, are best as planting material.

Pre Showing Treatment of Rhizomes

Selected rhizomes are then treated using chemicals and biological agents. Seed treatment prevents pest attack after sowing. Biological agents such as Pseudomonas florescence and Trichoderma viride can be used for seed treatment. Copper fungicides are used as chemical treatment.

Planting

  • Plant to plant distance- 15 cm.
  • Ro to tow distance- 45 cm.

Planting distance can be adjusted in home garden.

Crop Management

Irrigation

Irrigation is required during dry period. 2-3 irrigation is sufficient.

Method of irrigation are as follows:

  • Flood irrigation: requires more water.
  • Drip irrigation: best and widely used irrigation system.

Manuring

Weed Management

Hand weeding: 2 -3 time.

Weedicides: use pre-emergence and post-emergence weedicides.

Mulching: use plastic mulch to check the growth of weed.

Insect Management

Thrips

Thrips suck sap of leaves causing deformed leaf. Use systematic insecticides e. g., diamethoate.

Nematode

Nematode attacks on roots. 2nd stage of nematodes reside and feed inside the roots. Ise nematicides. Plant one row of marigold between two row of turmeric plant.

Ants

Black ants make their home beneath plant stem around the rhizomes. Use any contact insecticide.

Termites

Termites cut the roots. Use clorpyriphos.

Disease Management

Rhizome rot

CauseFungus
FungusPythium graminicolum
SignsWatery rotting appears first on stem, then in rhizomes.
PreventionBurning plant residuals. Seed treatment with copper
TreatmentCopper fungicide- Copper Oxychloride.

Blotches in leaves

CauseFungus
FungusTaphrina maculans
SignsBrain spots appears on lead aur face.
TreatmentSpray carbendazim

Crop Production

Harvesting

  1. Identifying harvesting stage.
  2. Yield.

Harvesting should be done when leaves turn into yellow colour start drying. Yield is 15-25 t per ha.

Post Harvesting

  1. Curing.
  2. Drying
  3. Marketing
  4. Market Price

Curing

Curing of turmeric fingers is a post harvest activity in which fingers are boiled using water. Two types of curing is done:

  1. Curing using hot water.
  2. Curing hot water + cow dung. Use fresh dung of cow.

Duration of boiling: minimum 15 minute or a little bit more. Stop boiling when sufficient amount of white foam appears on the water surface.

Drying

  • Sun drying.
  • Air drying.
  • Oven drying.

Sun drying: sun drying is an easy process. Bulk quantity of rhizomes can be dried.

Air drying: hot air is used in air drying. A tunnel like chamber is used for drying of rhizomes.

Oven drying: can be used for less quantity of rhizomes.

Marketing

  • Online: sell online through different e-commerce site. Use social media platforms. Or sell through your own website.
  • Offline: make contract with private companies and organizations. They are herbal plant producers, buyers and dealers.

Market Price

Market price is high. Depending upon market its price range can be thousands for few kg dried rhizomes.

Estimated Price

  • e. g., 50/100 gm dried rhizome at INR 1000 only.
  • e. g., 2 – 25 gm dried rhizome at INR 250 – 500 only.

-By Harish Manik




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1. Author and Content Writer. 2. Agriculture Consultant and Farmer's Trainer. 3. Agriculture Entrepreneur.

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