Turmeric is a very old spice used by the Asians, especially Indians, for centuries but gained popularity in Nigeria only recently.It can be used as an alternative to curry when cooking to help spice up your food and give it colour.
Mrs Elizabeth Jibrin,who is the owner of Teag Farm,said selling value-added turmeric can bring in a lot of money for a farmer.
“It is a lucrative business. I started marketing turmeric three years ago and different people buy from me in large quantitiestoresell,” she said.
Mrs Jibrin said the market for turmeric has been widening recently because of the increased awareness that has been created through the social media.
“At times the demand for turmeric is higher than what I produce in my farm so I have to look to the outer market to reach the demandby my customers,” she said
The farmer said Nigeria grows the best turmeric in Africa and that is one of the reasons she indulged in the business.
Mrs Jibrin, who is a retired federal director, stated that the period for farming turmeric is between March and May and that it matures from December till February.
“To know if the turmeric is ready for harvest the farmer has to look out for the dried leaves,” Mrs Jibrin explained.
The 63-year-old told Golden Harvest that she dries the turmeric she harvests on the farm using a dryer because sun-drying can allow dirt into the produce.
There are two types of turmeric powder in the market and the one that is just pure turmeric is a darker shade than the one mixed with curry.
She said turmeric is a base from which curry is made and it is what gives custard its yellow colour.
Experts have said that turmeric has both health and cosmetic benefits which has increased customers’ demand for it.
It has anti-inflammatory properties that can help to reduce inflammation and help improve symptoms of depression and arthritis.
It can also prevent heart diseases, helps in the treatment of cancer and it is a natural blood thinner.
It can also be used to treat eye problems when boiled and the water is used to dab the affected eye.
It can be used as an anti-aging agent, and also to reduce dark spots on the face, reduce wrinkles and crow’s feet around the eyes. It is also a toning agent and helps the skin glow.
Research has shown that turmeric is very healthy but excess intake can have its side effects; people with gall bladder blockage, gull stones, hyperacidity and stomach ulcers are advised to limit consumption turmeric.
Turmeric thrives in warm, humid conditions and well-drained neutral soils.