An innovative agricultural product prepared from turmeric, specifically grown in Belize, has entered the market with high customer demand. The product is gaining popularity in Canada and other regions of the Caribbean, along with Belize. This might facilitate the steep growth of global spices market. This discovery will not only expand the agricultural market capitalization but also increase the employment rate in the country. The turmeric grown appears to be as ginger-like root.
Naledo Belize Ltd.—an agriculture-based social enterprise—has collaborated with around 350 turmeric growers to uninterruptedly supply Belizean-turmeric for manufacturing its paste.
According to a source, the farmers in collaboration for the turmeric cultivation project have received training over the basic agricultural techniques and concepts comprising re-plantation, healthy crop production, and efficient harvesting.
Earlier, the consumption and processing technologies of turmeric into powder form were not advanced and only processed by traditional ways in small amounts. The average turmeric yield is above 900 kilograms for one thousand sq. meters in a span of 9 Months. After the collaboration with farmers, the current production has reached 9,000 kilograms per month. This point majorly explains the relation between the product demand and the spices market growth.
A few years back while volunteering in Belize, Umeeda Switlo—CEO of Naledo—noticed that Belizean-turmeric were comparatively larger in size than other varieties. After laboratory trials on the turmeric, nothing pathogenic and contaminated ingredients were found. However, it was noticed that Belizean-turmeric (Curcuma longa) has nutritionally more benefits than other turmeric species; as Belize turmeric comprises around 7.6 percent of curcuminoids, an anti-inflammatory compound, while the other turmeric species has only 2 percent.
The agro-processing industry of Naledo is situated in Punta Gorda, where all the tasks in processing ranging from bottling to labeling take place. The employee strength is 10 at present, including supervisors receiving double the current basic wage at Belize.