AN ECONOMIC ASSESSMENT OF TURMERIC PRODUCTION IN PUNJAB-PAKISTAN
Keywords:benefit cost ratio, cultivation, production costs, turmeric, yield
Study was conducted in main turmeric producing pocket of Pakistan to estimate cost of turmeric production, assess issues in cultivation and marketing sectors and work out feasibility of establishing turmeric grinding units. For this purpose, primary data with the help of well-structured questionnaires covering cultivation and marketing aspects of turmeric were collected from 50 turmeric farmers. Focused group discussions with 10 processors from local trade market were also arranged in order to supplement the sampled data particularly helping in feasibility analysis of grinding unit. Descriptive statistics, economic analysis and feasibility analysis of turmeric grinding unit were performed. Results indicate that output prices of turmeric remain highly un-stable during the season affecting production and processing to a great extent. Cost of production estimates across small as well large farm categories reflects that cultivation of turmeric despite the seasons’ lowest market prices (Rupees 696 per maund) of raw turmeric is profitable only to owners of land from both small and large farming categories. In other words, when output prices of raw turmeric in the past were reasonably higher (up to Rs.1000 per maund) then all types of farmers i.e. land owners as well as owner cum tenant had earned almost double returns than costs. On one hand, un-predictable and fluctuating trend in output prices and under-weighing practices by the commission agents and on the other hand, existence of profit margin in processing were inducing growers and processors to add value to raw turmeric for their enhanced incomes. Moreover, processing trend was increasing day-by-day in the study area. Therefore, market linkages need revival among stakeholders. Similarly, national sensitization on turmeric processing could help create awareness and get the attention of government for policy drive.