Turmeric (haldi) cultivation in India


Turmeric (Curcuma longa) (Family: Zingiberaceae) is used as condiment, dye, drug and cosmetic in addition to its use in religious ceremonies.

India is a leading producer and exporter of turmeric in the world. Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Orissa, Karnataka, West Bengal, Gujarat, Meghalaya, Maharashtra, Assam are some of the critical states cultivating turmeric, of which, Andhra Pradesh alone occupies 38.0% of the area and 58.5% of production. During 2013-2014, the country produced 12.29 lakh tons of turmeric from an area of 2.34 lakh ha.

Scientific name- Curcuma longa.


Climate and soil requirement for growing Turmeric

Turmeric can be grown in diverse tropical conditions from sea level to 1500 m above sea level, at a temperature range of 20-35oC with an annual rainfall of 1500 mm or more, under rainfed or irrigated conditions. Though it can be grown on different types of soils, it thrives best in well-drained sandy or clay loam soils with a pH range of 4.5-7.5 with good organic status.


Turmeric varieties

Some cultivars are available in the country and are known mostly by the name of the locality where they are cultivated. Some of the popular cultivars are Duggirala, Tekkurpet, Sugandham, Amalapuram, Erode local, Salem, Alleppey, Moovattupuzha and Lakdong.

The improved varieties of turmeric released from ICAR-Indian Institute of Spices Research, Kozhikode, and their salient features are given below-

Improved varieties of Turmeric-

Variety Mean Crop Dry Curcumin Oleoresin Essential
yield duration recovery (%) (%) oil
(fresh) (days) (%) (%)
ICAR-Indian Institute of Spices Research, Kozhikode
Suvarna 17.4 200 20.0 4.3 13.5 7.0
Suguna 29.3 190 12.0 7.3 13.5 6.0
Sudarsana 28.8 190 12.0 5.3 15.0 7.0
IISR Prabha 37.5 195 19.5 6.5 15.0 6.5
IISR Prathibha 39.1 188 18.5 6.2 16.2 6.2
IISR Alleppey Supreme 35.4 210 19.3 6.0 16.0 4.0
IISR Kedaram 34.5 210 18.9 5.5 13.6 3.0
Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore
Co 1 30.0 285 19.5 3.2 6.7 3.2
BSR 1 30.7 285 20.5 4.2 4.0 3.7
BSR 2 32.7 245 20.0 3.8
High Altitude Research Station, OUAT, Pottangi, Odhisa
Roma 20.7 250 31.0 6.1 13.2 4.2
Suroma 20.0 255 26.0 6.1 13.1 4.4
Ranga 29.0 250 24.8 6.3 13.5 4.4
Rasmi 31.3 240 23.0 6.4 13.4 4.4
Surangi 23.4 180-200 28.0 4.5-6.5 12.7 4.6
Tirhut College of Agriculture, RAU, Dholi, Bihar
Rajendra Sonia 42.0 225 18.0 8.4 10.0 5.0
ICAR Research Complex for NEH Region, Shillong, Meghalaya
Mega Turmeric 1 23.0 310 16.4 6.8
Kerala Agricultural University, Thrissur
Kanti 37.7 240-270 20.2 7.2 8.3 5.2
Sohba 35.9 240-270 19.4 7.4 9.7 4.2
Sona 21.3 240-270 18.9 7.1 10.3 4.2
Varna 21.9 240-270 19.1 7.9 10.8 4.6
Sardarkrushinagar Dantiwada Agricultural University, Jagudan
Sugandham 15.0 210 23.3 3.1 11.0 2.7


 Preparation of land for Turmeric

The land is prepared with the receipt of early monsoon showers. The soil is brought to a fine tilth by giving about four deep ploughings. Hydrated lime @ 500 – 1000 kg/ha has to be applied for laterite soils based on the soil pH and thoroughly ploughed. Immediately with the receipt of pre-monsoon showers, beds of 1.0 m width, 30 cm height and of convenient length are prepared with a spacing of 50 cm between beds. Planting is also done by forming ridges and furrows.


Seed material

Whole or split mother and finger rhizomes are used for planting, and well developed healthy and disease free rhizomes are to be selected. Treat the seed rhizomes with mancozeb 0.3% (3 g/L of water) for 30 minutes, shade dried for 3-4 hours and planted. A seed rate of 2,500 kg of rhizomes is required for planting one hectare of turmeric.



Though transplanting in turmeric is not conventional, it is found profitable. A transplanting technique in turmeric by using single bud sprouts (about 5 g) has been standardized to produce good quality planting material with reduced cost. The technology has been standardized at Horticulture College and Research Institute, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu. The technique involves raising transplants from single sprout seed rhizomes in the pro-tray and planted in the field after 30-40 days. The advantages of this technology are production of healthy planting materials and reduction in seed rhizome quantity and eventually reduced cost on seeds.


Technologies for Turmeric cultivation

  • Select healthy turmeric rhizomes for seed purpose
  • Treat the selected rhizomes with mancozeb (0.3%) and quinalphos (0.075%) for 30 min and store in well-ventilated place
  • One month before planting, the seed rhizomes are cut into single buds with a small piece of rhizomes weighing 5-7 g.
  • Treat the single bud sprouts (mancozeb 0.3%) for 30 min before planting
  • Fill the pro-trays (98 well) with nursery medium containing partially decomposed coir pith and vermicompost (75:25), enriched with PGPR/Trichoderma 10g/kg of mixture
  • Plant the turmeric bud sprouts in pro-trays
  • Maintain the pro-trays under shade net house (50%)
  • Adopt need-based irrigation with rose can or by using suitable sprinklers
  • Seedlings will be ready within 30-35 days for transplanting


Planting of Turmeric

In Kerala and other West Coast areas where the rainfall begins early, the crop can be planted during April-May with the receipt of pre-monsoon showers. Small pits are made with a hand hoe on the beds with a spacing of 25 cm x 30 cm. Pits are filled with well-decomposed cattle manure or compost, and seed rhizomes are placed over it then covered with soil. The optimum spacing in furrows and ridges is 45-60 cm between the rows and 25 cm between the plants.


Manuring and fertilizer application for Turmeric

Farmyard manure (FYM) or compost @ 30-40 t/ha is applied by broadcasting and ploughing at the time of preparation of land or as basal dressing by spreading over the beds or into the pits at the time of planting. Organic manures like oil cakes can also be applied @ two t/ha. In such case, the dosage of FYM can be reduced. Recommended blanket nutrient dosage for turmeric for Kerala is 60 kg N, 50 kg P2O5 and 120 kg K2O per hectare. Integrated application of coir compost (@ 2.5 t/ha) combined with FYM, biofertilizer (Azospirillum) and half recommended a dose of NPK be also recommended.

As the soil fertility will be varying with the soil type, agro-ecological conditions or management systems, site specific nutrient management based on the soil test results for major nutrient is advocated. The recommended dose of nutrients for varying soil test values of N, P and K is given in table 2. The fertilizers are to be applied in 2 – 3 split doses. Full dose of phosphorus is applied as basal at the time of planting. Equal split doses of N and K is top dressed at 45, 90 (and 120) DAP.

In zinc deficient soils, basal application of zinc fertilizer up to 5 kg zinc/ha (25 kg of zinc sulfate/ha) gives a good yield. Foliar application of micronutrient mixture specific to turmeric is also recommended (dosage @ 5 g/L) twice, 60 and 90 DAP, for higher yield.

Soil test based fertilizer recommendations for fresh rhizome yield target levels

Soil test value for Fertilizer nutrient recommended
available nutrients (kg/ha) (kg/ha) for yield targets
30 t/ha 40 t/ha
< 150 120 170
150-250 95 125
250-400 50 90
>400 25
Phosphorus (P2O5) 60 90
< 10
10-30 18 50
Potassium (K2O) 275 325
< 110
110-300 230 300
300-500 150 235
>500 140



The crop is to be mulched immediately after planting with green leaves @ 12-15 t/ha. Mulching may be repeated @ 7.5 t/ha at 40 and 90 days after planting after weeding, application of fertilizers and earthing up.


Weeding and irrigation of Turmeric-

Weeding has to be done thrice at 60, 90 and 120 days after planting depending upon weed intensity. In the case of irrigated crop, depending on the weather and the soil conditions, about 15 to 23 irrigations are to be given in clayey soils and 40 irrigations in sandy loams.


Mixed cropping

Turmeric can be grown as an intercrop in coconut and areca nut plantations. It can also be raised as a mixed crop with chilies, colocasia, onion, brinjal, and cereals like maize, ragi, etc.




“turmeric – Indian Institute of Spices Research.” www.spices.res.in. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Apr. 2017 <http://www.spices.res.in/pdf/package/turmeric.pdf>.


turmeric – Indian Institute of Spices Research. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.spices.res.in/pdf/package/turmeric.pdf

  • ICAR-Indian Institute of Spices Research, Kozhikode, Kerala
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