ITC to ink MoU with Meghalaya govt on turmeric

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Shillong, Nov 29 (UNI) The Spice Division of the ITC group would soon sign a MoU with the Meghalaya government to procure the famous Lakadong turmeric, state Chief Secretary Ranjan Chatterjee said here today.

''The ITC group has expressed its interest in procuring the turmeric and the state government is examining their offer,'' Mr Chatterjee told reporters here after his return from the India International Trade Fair in New Delhi.

Lakadong turmeric, which has high curcumin content of 7.6 per cent, is traditionally grown in homestead gardens to supplement the income of farmers in the Jaintia Hills area of the state.

Mr Chatterjee said the state government was endeavouring to get the best deal in favour of the farmers.

''We are looking at modifying some of the clauses. If everything works out fine, we will sign a MoU with the ITC,'' the Chief Secretary said.

The ITC would also be aiding the farmers with technical expertise by introducing modern practices of cultivation, he asserted.

The Chief Secretary informed that Pepsi Foods had also expressed interest to invest in Meghalaya by tapping the abundant natural spring water in the state.

''They (Pepsi Foods) are very much interested in water, we have suggested them to set up a bottling plant in the state,'' he said.

Siliguri-based Calypso had also sought to market the state's pineapple, the Chief Secretary informed.

He said only 25 per cent of the 96,000 tonnes pineapples produced annually were marketed regularly. The rest was either sold at cheaper rates or wasted.


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