Meghalaya on Saturday successfully tested Drone and UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) technology to transport finest quality turmeric from the remote villages of West Jaintia Hills of Meghalaya to first nearby district headquarters so as it could reach the processing unit in Kerala in time.
Earlier, it was very difficult to transport turmeric from these remote locations to first mile connectivity in Meghalaya as a result the ‘best quality turmeric in the world in Meghalaya’ was not reaching processing unit at its full capacity.
World’s best quality turmeric is produced in the West Jaintia Hills of Meghalaya, which has the highest curcumin content of 7-9 % (whereas this content is just 3 % in other varieties). The initiative taken by the Centre under One District, One Product (ODOP) helped in promoting the Lakadong Turmeric from West Jaintia Hills and became a game changer in the economy of the entire region.
“The ‘fly off’ event of using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) would not only to give a fillip to the mandate of the ODOP initiative but also leverage modern technology as a fundamental solution to overcome the bottleneck of transportation that acts as a barrier in realizing the optimal potential of this exceptional spice from Meghalaya,” said Additional Secretary Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Ministry of Commerce & Industry Sumita Dawra.
Use of UAV is a first step towards showcasing the innovative solutions that can propel first mile connectivity while ushering in Industrial Revolution 4.0, Sumita Dawra said. After ODOP initiatives, the government managed to facilitate the trade of 13,136 kg of sliced and dried lakadong Turmeric to a large food processing industry in Ernakulam in Kerala last year. And the farmers of West Jaintia Hills got 13 % more price of their crop, the Ministry claimed.
This year the Ministry is targeting to procure more than 25,000 kg of turmeric from the region. “The buyer seller meeting organized under ODOP scheme led to the finalization of procurement orders for over 25,000 kgs, and it might increase further subject to final negotiations,” said a senior officer of the Ministry.
Interestingly, India is the largest producer of turmeric in the world and produces 78 percent of the world’s turmeric. Last year it exported US$ 236.5 million worth of turmeric, the Ministry said.