January 25, 2021
Farmers in the Mettupalayam area next to Coimbatore have demanded the setting up of a curry leaves factory to produce and sell the ingredient as a value-added product.
Curry leaves are the main crop in about 2,500 acres in Mettupalayam, Karamadai, Sirumugai and the surrounding villages of Coimbatore.
The produce that grows in this area is very fragrant and delicious. Curry leaves are cultivated and harvested at four intervals.
Curry leaves seeds are also being sent to neighbouring states like Kerala, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh from Mettupalayam, Karamadai and Belladi areas.
In areas including Mettupalayam, Sirumugai and Karamadai, curry leaves are the next major agricultural crop after banana and sugarcane.
It has been a long-standing demand of the farmers in the area that a factory be set up in the area to convert the produce into a value-added product for sale.
According to the farmers, curry leaves are harvested four seasons a year but is only profitable for during the working season. Farmers will not get much benefit from the price it is available now, they say. The desperate farmers will have to uproot the crop and set up a factory in the area to convert the produce into value-added products to address this, they add.
The Mettupalayam farmers said that the election promise to set up a factory in Mettupalayam was made a few years ago, but so far the plan has not been implemented. There are more than a thousand farmers and workers. The leaves go to other states like Kerala and other districts like Chennai and Erode, they said.