Turmeric: Stimulating commercial cultivation
Story from Doti under Sustainable Livelihoods
Suntali Devi BK is from a Dalit community which is an extremely marginalised group. She lives with her family of five members. Her family used to run their household through earnings from Indian employment where her husband was engaged.
She also did tailoring work in her village. UMN and its partner Rural Community Development Centre (RCDC) launched a year-long Sustainable Economic Enhancement through Appropriate Technology Transfer (SEEATT) project in Badikedar, situated far from development centres. The community joined this programme through farmers' groups or as individuals who were not associated with such groups. The project implemented activities for promoting commercial turmeric cultivation.
Farmers were encouraged to start commercial cultivation of turmeric. The project provided seed tuber support to 364 households. Suntali was one of the beneficiaries. Earlier, Suntali had much less turmeric in her house and she used to cultivate it in a very small area. After the seed tuber support under SEEATT project, she has more than doubled her turmeric acreage compared to last year, from around 68m 2 to around 169m 2 . Suntali’s husband now supports her in household work and the farm.
She shares, “If the yield remains good, I will double the turmeric farming area again next year." She thanks UMN and RCDC for stimulating the production of underestimated crops like turmeric. She expects future collaboration to continue to improve her livelihood to a great extent. There are many farmers like Suntali who are motivated and see turmeric as a new means of livelihood in this locality.