On Wednesday evening a webinar hosted by the Department of Agriculture saw the inauguration of a venture between the turmeric farmer groups from Meghalaya under an area entrepreneur with the name BRAVES and Mt. Meru a corporation from San Diego for marketing Lakadong Turmeric in Nutraceutical form for the US market.
Words from the Chief Minister:
Chief Minister Conrad Sangma attended the webinar although he wasn't well having tested COVID positive and with a saline drip in his right.
“The reason I even have joined this webinar despite my unhealthiness is that I'm excited about this venture. Meghalaya features a very diverse agro-climatic condition which also means crop diversity. it's the gene pool of Citrus indica, the carnivorous plant, and recently the glowing mushroom. Meghalaya has immense treasures to share with the planet and what Mt Meru and BRAVES have done today by way of turning turmeric into FDA approved nutraceutical tablet will bring huge benefits to the planet and can even help build immunity against Covid,” the chief minister said adding that this new venture also will benefit the farmers.
Acknowledgment by Union Agricultural Minister:
Union Agriculture Minister, Narendra Singh Tomar who gave the inaugural speech lauded the chief minister for his commitment towards rural development.
“In a state with over 80% farmers it's important that their needs are identified and met through schemes targeted towards upscaling their production,” Tomar said, adding that it's a matter of pride that Haldi (turmeric) from India has reached the body of water. He assured the chief minister that the Centre would offer all assistance during this and other farmer related ventures.
Earlier the founding father of Mt Meru, the San Diego- based Radhika Ponda said she had visited Mukhyam in West Jaintia Hills because she had heard of the high curcumin content of the turmeric there.
After meeting several farmers she met Anumahasa Sna who agreed to grow turmeric the way she wanted it grown — during a natural environment with no artificial fertilizers or pesticides. Radhika says her company believes in responsible agriculture where soil, water, nature are combined for sustainability.
The Fusion of Ayurveda and Modern Science:
Radhika believes in combining the facility of Mother Nature, the traditional Indian wisdom of Ayurveda, and therefore the wisdom of recent science to form the absolute best herbal medicines/ supplements for the system and health. what's of interest to the turmeric farmers is that Mt Meru can pay the farmers seven times the quantity they might otherwise have gotten by selling their turmeric within the market.
Radhika Ponda pointed to the logistical challenges in Meghalaya like the non-availability of an accredited lab but this was being figured out and therefore the government will soon found out the required infrastructure.
The webinar started at 8.30 pm to suit the US participants. The program was hosted by Dr. Shakil Ahammed, Principal Secy, Department of Agriculture.
In attendance was also the Consul General of India in San Francisco, Ambassador Dr. TV Nagendra Prasad.
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