Agri Business

Tirur betel leaves growers seek Centre’s support to promote it overseas

V Sajeev Kumar Kochi | Updated on April 18, 2021

Growers’ body urges govt to include the GI-tagged commodity in the trade promotion campaigns in both domestic and international fora

Tirur betel leaf farmers have approached the Centre with a request to take some initiatives to enable further value-addition for the GI-tagged Tirur Vettila in view of its medicinal properties.

This would open up new opportunities for the product in overseas markets, Tirur Betel Leaf Producers Society has said.

To leverage the benefit of the GI tag, the Society has urged the government to include the commodity in the trade promotion campaigns organised by the ministries concerned in both domestic and international fora.

In a memorandum submitted to S Jaishankar, Union External Affairs Minister, Beerankutty Melethil, Secretary, Tirur Betel Leaf Producers Society, also urged the Centre to reinstate exports of Tirur vettila and promote its quality and uniqueness under the Ministry through its various schemes, mechanisms and the government’s mission abroad.

Tirur vettila is produced in Tirur in Kerala’s Malappuram district on 266 hectares and is unique for its significantly high content of total chlorophyl and protein in fresh leaves. Eugenol is the major essential oil in Tirur vettila contributing to its pungency and its shelf period is higher compared to other betel leaves.

As researchers certify, the antioxidant property is more in Tirur vettila adding to its medicinal properties. This betel leaf is more pungent than any other cultivars, Melethil said.

Since Tirur vettila is of great medicinal value, the society requested the Minister to issue immediate direction to national agricultural institutes to conduct research on medicinal properties in order to upscale its use in ayurveda. The government should include the product in farm tourism and Ayush initiatives and promote its use in the production of ayurvedic medicines.

The lockdown last year had forced farmers to abandon the harvest in June and July. However, the starting of train services had helped to recover some demand in North Indian markets on a lower note.

Published on April 15, 2021

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