Spices Board mulls ‘park’ to boost local produces of State

By Our Reporter

 SHILLONG: The Spices Board of India is contemplating to set up a ‘spices park’ in the State in order to tap the unique spices produced in Meghalaya.

The State is famous for its spices including the ‘Lakadong turmeric’ with a high curcumin content which is mainly produced in Jaintia Hills and the ‘spices park’ would benefit the farmers in terms of marketing and value addition of the various spices grown in the State.

The ‘spices park’ which would be set up in the State would be the first of its kind in the North Eastern region. As of now, there are eight such ‘spices parks’ in the whole country.

The Spices Board has entrusted IIM, Shillong with the responsibility of undertaking a feasibility study on the location of the ‘spices park’.

Giving a detailed description the facilities which would be available in the ‘spice park’, Spices Board Deputy Director (Regional Office) BJ Brahma said that the park would have processing facilities at par with international standards in which the produces would undergo cleaning, grading, sorting, grinding, packing, warehousing and others.

“The feasibility study is important since it would be futile to construct the park in an area with transportation problems,” he said.

According to Brahma the park would also largely address the problem of exploitation of farmers by middlemen.

Citing an instance, he said that though the actual price of the Lakadong turmeric in the market is Rs 400, the farmers get only around Rs 70 per kg.

“We can see how the middlemen are exploiting the poor farmers,” Brahma said while adding that the park would also facilitate exporters to come to the region and purchase the products directly from the farmers.

Asked about the funding for the ‘spices park’, he informed that the Spices Board would provide cent per cent funding for the construction of the park over an area of 10 acres. The land will have to be provided free of cost by the state government, he stated.