The paper demonstrates the economics of turmeric in the North Eastern Hill region by focusing on the states, viz., Mizoram, Meghalaya, Manipur, and Sikkim through a value chain analysis approach. The cost of cultivation analysis has shown that the turmeric crop is economically beneficial across the states and it has been more beneficial in the state of Sikkim as the product in Sikkim has been certified as organic. The factor share, as well as cost and returns analysis both, have attracted the scientists; policymakers for both pre-and post-harvest interventions. The pre-harvest arrangements include rhizome storage, developing small machinery to reduce drudgery as most of the work has been performed manually in turmeric farms in the region. The mapping of value chain actors and value-added analysis has shown that the processed (powder) and semi-processed(slice/flakes) of turmeric earned good returns, although the powder turmeric was made and sold by a few turmeric growers across the states. Making powder as well as slices was not possible for all the turmeric growers as it needs slicers, dryers, grinders, and packaging machines and all these are not affordable by the turmeric growers of the region. Therefore, the establishment of slice/flakes maker, dryers, grinder, storage for rhizome, and packing machines are the need of the hour in the region to enhance their due share in the consumers’ price of turmeric and its by-products.

Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is a highly commercial spice of India. The rhizome of turmeric spice contains yellow pigments called curcumin which is the main active compound as well as the main coloring agent which also has certain therapeutic properties. Turmeric is part of Indian culture: it is an important ingredient in curry dishes; it is also used in many religious observances, as a cosmetic, a dye, and it enters in the composition of many traditional remedies. As a dried rhizome of an herbaceous plant, turmeric is closely related to ginger (Dahal and Idris, 1999). This spice is also sometimes called “Indian saffron” because of its yellow color.

While the product moves from one chain actor to another chain actor, it gains value in the form of price mark-up. The chain actors, who actually transact a particular product as it moves through the value chain, include input dealers (e.g., seed suppliers), farmers, traders, processors, transporters, wholesalers, retailers, and ultimately the final consumer. Using snowball sampling, the actors involved in the value chain of the selected spices were identified and mapped according to the flow of the commodity. Various value chain stakeholders starting from the supply of raw materials to the marketing of processed products were identified.

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