December 5, 2016
Curry leaf farmers from Mettupalayam, near here, have called upon the state government to set up a curry leaf powder manufacturing factory to augment their income.
Villages in and around Mettupalayam are the largest producers of curry leaves in Tamil Nadu. Besides Mettupalayam, Sirumugai, Therampalayam, Kurudampalayam, Mungampalayam, Ponmudi, Ramampalayam, Sennampalayam, Karamadai and Marudur are the major curry leaves cultivating areas, from where the leaves are exported to countries like Singapore, Dubai, Malaysia as well as supplied to several states within India.
Though grown widely in the region, with around 3,000 acres under cultivation, the returns from curry leaves are meagre, say farmers.
They say they get hardly Rs. 5,000 per month per acre. The farmers also voiced their concern over the fluctuating market price for their produce and the need for a curry leaf powder making factory as an alternate source of income.
S Devarajan, a farmer in Karamadai, says, “Vegetable brokers purchase our curry leaves and make curry leaf powder in a private factory.
After that it is packed and exported to other countries, so that they make more profits than the farmers. We request the State government to set up a curry leaf powder factory.”
Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa had informed the Assembly in 2011 that the government would seriously consider setting up a factory in Mettupalayam where curry leaf powder would be produced on a large scale.
While campaigning for this year’s State Assembly election, the current MLA from Mettupalayam O K Chinnaraj had promised that the curry leaf factory unit would be ready within this year. But till now, no steps have been taken.
When contacted, O K Chinnaraj told Covai Post, “Now some entrepreneurs in Mettupalayam are running a small unit for making curry leaf powder. The state government has given loans to support them to increase the capacity of the unit. Soon a big curry leaf powder factory will be constructed by the government.”