Updated at: 13-02-2023 - By: Sienna Lewis

In addition to its role in religious ceremonies, turmeric (Curcuma longa) (family: Zingiberaceae) is a condiment, dye, medicine, and cosmetic. Turmeric is one of India’s most popular exports. turmeric is grown in Andhra Pradesh (35%) and Tamil Nadu (40%), as well as Orissa (40%), Karnataka (40%), West Bengal (40%), Gujarat (40%), Meghalaya (40%), Maharashtra (40%), and Assam (40%).

Climate and soil

Turmeric can be cultivated under rainfed or irrigated conditions at temperatures ranging from 20 to 35 degrees Celsius and elevations ranging from sea level to at least 1500 meters above sea level in the tropics. Soil conditions aren’t critical, although well-drained sandy or clay loam soils with a pH range of 4.5-7.5 and adequate organic status are ideal for growing this plant.

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This country has a wide variety of cultivars that go by various names based on where they are grown. Duggirala, Tekurpeta, Sugandham, Amalapuram, Erode local, Alleppey, Moovattupuzha, and Lakadong are some of the most popular varieties. The following table lists the new turmeric cultivars, along with some of its most notable characteristics.

Table 1: Improved turmeric varieties’ characteristics

A source of seeds for planting.

IISR Experimental Farm, Peruvannmuzhi – 673 528, Kozhikode District, Kerala, is home to sl. nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 15 & 16.

6 and 7: The Department of Spices and Plantation Crops of the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu.

Agricultural University, Kasba Digraj, Maharashtra, -416 305.

Jagudan-382 701 is the location of Gujarat Agricultural University’s Spices Research Station.

Orissa University of Agriculture and Technology, Pottangi – 764 039, Orissa, has a High Altitude Research Station.

Horticulture Department, Tirhut College of Agriculture (Rajendra Agricultural University), Dholi, Bihar 843 121.


Preparation of land

Early monsoon rainfall have prepped the land. Four deep ploughings are required to achieve a fine tilth in the soil. Laterite soils require a heavy application of hydrated lime (500 kg/ha) and rigorous plowing. As soon as the first pre-monsoon showers arrive, beds with a width of 1.0 m, a height of 15 cm, and a length of 50 cm are quickly constructed. Forming ridges and furrows is another method of planting.


Pre-monsoon rains in April and May allow farmers in Kerala and other West Coast states to plant their crops in the months of April and May.

Seed material

Rhizomes can be grown from whole or divided mother and finger rhizomes that are well established, healthy, and free of disease. A hand hoe is used to create 25cm x 30cm sized trenches on the beds. Compost or well-decomposed animal manure can be used to fill the pits, which are then covered with seed rhizomes and finally with dirt. 45-60 cm between rows and 25 cm between plants is ideal for furrows and ridges. For planting one hectare of turmeric, 2,500 kg of rhizomes is needed.

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Manuring and fertilizer application

Applying farmyard manure (FYM) or compost 30-40 t/ha at the time of field preparation or as a basal dressing by spreading over the beds or into the pits prior to planting is a common practice. Table 2 shows the split doses of fertilizer to be sprayed at 60 kilogram N, 50 kg P2O5 and 120 kg K2O per hectare. Organic manures such oil cakes can also be sprayed at 2 t/ha of zinc at the time of planting. Reduce the FYM dosage in this situation. The use of FYM, biofertilizer (Azospirillum), and half of the necessary amount of NPK with integrated application of coir compost (@ 2.5 t/ha) is also recommended.

Turmeric fertilization timetable (per ha)


Green leaves @ 12-15 t/ha should be applied as soon as the seedlings are established as a mulch to the field. After weeding, fertilizer application, and earthing up, repeat mulching @ 7.5 t/ha at 45 and 90 days after planting.

Weeding and irrigation

Three times, 60, 90, and 120 days after planting (depending on weed aggressiveness), weeding is required. For an irrigated crop on clayey soil, roughly 15 to 23 irrigations are required, but for sandy loams, about 40 irrigations are required.

Mixed cropping

Plantations of coconuts and arecanuts can intercrop turmeric. Chilies, colocasia, onion, brinjal, and cereals like maize, ragi, and others can be grown alongside it.

Plant protection

Leaf blotch

Tiny, oval, rectangular, or irregular brown spots form on either side of the leaves, which quickly turn yellow or dark brown, and are caused by the Taphrina maculans. Additionally, the foliage turns yellow. The rhizome output is diminished and the plants’ look is burnt in severe cases. Spraying mancozeb 0.2 percent can control the sickness.

Leaf spot

Known as leaf spot, Colletotrichum capsici causes brown patches to form on the upper surface of the young leaves. In the center, the specks are either white or grey. Two or more spots may merge to produce an uneven patch that covers nearly the entire leaf in the latter stages of the disease. Eventually, the afflicted leaves will wither away. The rhizomes aren’t growing as quickly as they should. Zineb 0.3 percent and Bordeaux mixture 1 percent can be used to control the sickness.

Rhizome rot

Pythium graminicolum or P. aphanidermatum is the bacterium that causes the illness. The pseudostem collapses and the rhizomes decompose because the collar of the pseudostem becomes soft and water-soaked. The disease can be prevented by treating the seed rhizomes with mancozeb 0.3 percent prior to storage and at the time of sowing. The beds should be saturated with mancozeb 0.3 percent when the sickness is discovered in the field.

Nematode pests

To cause turmeric damage, root knot and burrowing nematodes are the two most common worms, respectively. This state is plagued by the common worms (Pratylenchus species) that cause root lesion. Use only healthy, nematode-free planting material in areas prone to nematode problems. Nematodes are less likely to multiply if the soil is rich in organic matter. In order to combat nematode infestations, use Pochonia chlamydosporia @ 20 g/bed (at 106 cfu/g) during the sowing process.

Pest insects

Shoot the shit

Turmeric’s most destructive pest is the Conogethes punctiferalis shoot borer. The larvae feed on the interior tissues of the pseudostems they dig into. It is a common indication of pest infestation to see a bore-hole on pseudostems through which frass is expelled and a withered core stalk. With a wingspan of roughly 20 millimeters, this moth has orange-yellow and black markings on its wings. The color of fully-grown larvae is a pale brown with a few bristles. Spraying malathion (0.1 percent) at 21-day intervals from July to October is an effective method of managing pests.. Spraying must begin as soon as the innermost leaf shows the first signs of insect infestation.

Scales of rhizome

At the end of the crop, rhizomes are infested by Aspidiella hartii, a rhizome scale. The rhizomes of adult (female) plants bear round, light brown to grey scales (approximately 1mm in diameter). Rhizomes get shrivelled and dehydrated if they are infested to the point where they are unable to germinate. Prevent further infestation by treating seed with quinalphos (0.075 percent) (20-30 minutes) before storage and sowing. Infested rhizomes should be thrown away and not stored.

a few nuisances

Leaf-eating beetles like Lema spp. feed on leaves, especially during the monsoon season, and leave behind elongated parallel feeding marks on them as a result. Shoot borer can be controlled with a single application of malathion (0.1 percent) spray.

Foliage infested with Stephanitis typicus, a lacewing beetle, becomes pale and shriveled due to this. Post-monsoon pest infestations are more widespread, especially in the country’s driest regions. Dimethoate (0.05 percent) is an effective pesticide that can be sprayed on the affected area.

It’s the turmeric thrips, Panchaetothrips indicus, that infests the leaves, causing them to roll up, turn pale, and eventually dry up. Post-monsoon pest infestations are more widespread, especially in the country’s driest regions. Dimethoate (0.05 percent) is an effective pesticide that can be sprayed on the area to be treated.

Organic Production

Plan of conversion

Only the second crop of turmeric can be sold as organic if the crop has been under organic management for at least 18 months. If the organic farm is being developed on land where chemicals were not previously used, the conversion period may be shortened, providing that sufficient evidence of the area’s history is available. For big farms, it is preferable to use organic methods of production throughout the farm, although this can be done in a progressive manner with the help of a conversion plan.

Agri-horti and silvi-horti systems can successfully recycle farm waste by growing turmeric alongside coconut, arecanut, mango, Leucaena, rubber and other crops. Trap crops or green manure/legumes crops can also be cultivated in rotation, allowing for effective nutrient accumulation and pest/disease management. All of the crops in a field must be produced using organic methods when it is part of a mixed farming system.

A appropriate buffer zone with a clear border must be maintained to prevent non-organic farms in the vicinity from contaminating organically cultivated plots. This isolation belt’s crops cannot be considered organic. Precaution should be taken to prevent water and chemical runoff from surrounding farms from entering sloppy soil. Soil and water conservation measures must be taken to reduce runoff and erosion by making conservation pits in the interspaces between beds on the slope. In low-lying fields, it is necessary to prevent water stagnation by digging deep drainage ditches.

Practices in management

Traditional cultivars that are resistant or tolerant to disease, pests, and nematode infection should be employed in organic farming. As long as there are agricultural wastes and crop residues, such as green lopping and grasses, that can be composted (including vermicomposting), soil fertility can be maintained at its highest level. It is forbidden to use synthetic chemical fertilizers and insecticides in an organic system. It is possible to apply farmyard manure at 40 t/ha, combined with vermi compost at 5-10 t/ha and green leaf mulch at 12- 15 t/ha every 45 days. Lime/dolomite and wood ash should be applied to the soil in order to obtain the necessary amount of phosphorus and potassium. The use of restricted mineral/chemical sources of micronutrients through soil application or foliar spray is permitted within the restrictions of standard setting or certifying organizations when inadequate circumstances of trace elements become yield limiting. It is also possible to increase the productivity and fertility of the soil by supplementing the soil with oil cakes such as Neem Cake (2 t/ha), composted Coir Pith (5 t/ha), and compatible Azospirillum and phosphate-soluble bacteria.

Insect pest and disease management in an organic system is mostly accomplished through the application of biopesticides, biocontrol agents, and cultural and phytosanitary procedures. In July-October (at 21-day intervals), spraying Neemgold 0.5 percent or neemoil 0.5 percent on the shoot borer is highly effective.

In order to prevent the spread of the rhizome rot disease, it is possible to use a variety of biocontrol agents, such as Trichoderma or Pseudomonas, multiplied in suitable carrier media such as coir pith compost, well-rotted cow dung, or high-quality neem cake, at the time of sowing and at regular intervals thereafter. Spraying a Bordeaux combination at a rate of no more than 8 kg of copper per hectare per year can be used to combat various foliar diseases. Pochonia chlamydosporia bioagent and quality neem cake can be used to determine the nematode population.


Mechanized, physical, and biological processes should also be used in organic processing procedures to keep organic ingredients’ important quality constant throughout the processing process. All processing components and additives must be derived from organic farming and have the appropriate certifications. The certification program allows the use of non-organic raw materials, subject to periodic re-evaluation, in circumstances when organic ingredients are unavailable.

When the requirements of the standards are met, the product’s labeling should clearly indicate its organic status as “production of organic agriculture” or a similar description. Furthermore, organic and non-organic products should not be stored or transported together unless they are clearly marked as such or otherwise physically separated.

An impartial body certifies and labels products to ensure that the production criteria are being met. Small and marginal farmers in India will benefit from the government’s efforts to establish an indigenous certification system and to issue legitimate organic certificates from approved certifying companies. The certification bodies will appoint inspectors to conduct audits of the farm’s operations, which will be carried out through the use of documents and on-site inspections. Farm activities must be documented in order to obtain certification, especially if the farm grows both conventional and organic crops. Companies with similar production systems that are geographically close together can also apply for group certification programs.


When the crop is ready for harvest, it might take anywhere from seven to nine months after planting in January or February. It takes 7-8 months for early varieties to reach maturity, whereas it takes 8-9 months for medium types and 9 months for late variants.

It is necessary to dig up the ground and then collect the underground stems and rhizomes by hand or with a shovel. The rhizomes that have been harvested are cleaned to remove any mud or other debris that may have adhered to them.



The process of drying fresh turmeric necessitates curing the root. The mother rhizomes are cut off and the fingers are separated. In most cases, seedlings are propagated from mother rhizomes. Fresh rhizomes are boiled in water and dried in the sun as part of the curing process.

The cleaned rhizomes are immersed in just enough water to bring them to a boil in the traditional method of curing. When froth and white vapors arise, the boiling process comes to an end, emitting a characteristic odor. When the rhizomes begin to soften, they should be boiled for 45-60 minutes. How long the water is allowed to boil has a significant impact on the finished product’s color and flavor. Color can be ruined by overcooking, while undercooking causes the dried product to be hard.

The new scientific method of curing uses a perforated trough made of GI or MS sheet with an extended parallel handle to hold the cleaned fingers (around 50 kg). For the turmeric fingers to be completely submerged, an open trough with holes in the bottom is placed into a pot and 100 liters of water is added. The entire mass is cooked to the point of softness, which takes anything from 30 minutes to an hour. Lifting the trough and letting the water drain into the pan removes the cooked fingers from the pan. Fresh samples can be treated with the water used to cook turmeric rhizomes. After harvesting, turmeric should be processed within two or three days. Rhizomes should be stored under shade or coated with sawdust or coir dust if processing is delayed.


After being cooked, the fingers are stretched out on bamboo mats or a drying floor and let to air-dry in the sun. The dried product’s color may be tainted if the coating is too thin. Heaped or covered aeration material should be used for the rhizomes at night. The rhizomes need to be thoroughly dried for a period of 10 to 15 days. At a maximum of 60oC, cross-flow hot air can be used to dry the product artificially. Artificial drying produces a more vibrantly colored turmeric slice than sun drying, which tends to bleach the surface. According to the variety and location of the crop, the dry product yield might range from 10% to 30%.

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Scales and root fragments can be seen on the outside of dried turmeric. The outside surface is smoothed and polished by human or mechanical rubbing in order to enhance its look.

It is done by rubbing the dried turmeric on a hard surface with one’s fingertips. In the new technology, the enlarged metal mesh on the sidewalls of a hand-operated barrel or drum is mounted on a central axis. During the rotation of the turmeric-filled drum, surface abrasion against the mesh and mutual rubbing against each other in the drum produce polishing. Power powered drums are also used for polishing turmeric. An average yield of 15 to 25 percent of polished turmeric can be obtained from the raw material.


The price of a product is influenced by the color of the processed turmeric. Turmeric powder (with a little water) can be sprinkled on top of the final polishing stage for a more appealing final product.

Seed rhizome preservation

Turmeric leaves are commonly used to cover rhizomes for seed storage in well-ventilated rooms. Strychnos nuxvomica leaves and sawdust can also be used to store the seed rhizomes in pits (kanjiram). With one or two apertures for ventilation, hardwood planks are to be used to cover the pits. If scale infestations are found, the rhizomes should be dipped in quinalphos (0.075 percent) solution for 15 minutes, and in mancozeb (0.3 percent) to prevent fungi from causing storage losses.