Turmeric is the main cash crop of the poor Tribal farmers of this district. Annually about 16,000 Hct. are covered under this crop by about 60,000 farmers with an annual production of about 40,000 Mt. The local variety grown from time immemorial is having 2 – 3% curcumin, 12.15% of oleoresin and 5.3% of volatile oil. This variety is not valued in international market. In order to bring a tangible change in quality and also to increase the per unit production one special project under Innovative Jawahar Rojagar Yojana ( IJRY) was implemented in the district by Govt. of India (80%) and Panchayat Raj Dept, (20%) Govt. of Orissa.
In order to implement the project, 61 nos. Spices Development Societies (SDS) were formed in 5 blocks with more than 12,000 farmers, as its members. Under the facilitation of IJRY project, increase in production and exportable turmeric could be produced in the district. Simply this is not enough to provide more income to the farmers unless there is viable marketing. There was no organisation or a common platform for the producers and as such the poor farmers are exploited by the middleman and traders. Hence, it was felt necessary to form an Apex Marketing Society for the benefit of farmers.
Thus KASAM was born on 01.09.1998 by the members of 61 nos. of SDS. KASAM is registered (Reg. No. Pboo-2385/28-1998-99) under society’s registration Act, 1860 with a Bye-laws. Presently it has got 11237 no. of (ST-78%, SC-15% & other-7%) farmers as its primary members. The district collector is its president and there is a Governing body with a General Manager (Marketing) to look after its business and a Secretary as head of the management.
The motto of KASAM is to generate employment, poverty alleviation, extension of species area, production of quality and value added hygienic spices and to set up viable marketing net work to minimise the exploitation by traders through inculcating a feeling of self confidence and self reliance among the producers.
With the coordination of local farmers & government supported body KASAM is able to have a well equipped infrastructure, which includes one processing unit namely:-
- KASAM at Bandhagada
And also KASAM is having four no. of ware-house of capacity 5000MT for the storage of food product namely:
- KASAM ware-house at Bandhagada
- KASAM ware-house at Bramhanigaon
- KASAM ware-house at Daringbadi.
- KASAM ware-house at G. Udayagiri (Katadaganda)
The most valuable aspect of Kandhamal turmeric is that these are produced “ORGANICALLY” without use of any chemical fertiliser and pesticide. Organic species has got much demand in foreign countries. In order to export organic species from the district, KASAM has entered an agreement with the CUC (Control Union Certification) of Holland (an organic certifying agency) and obtaining “ORGANIC CERTIFICATE” from 2000. This certificate could help KASAM for export of Organic species from the district.
Since its inception, KASAM has tried to purchase turmeric from its members by paying remunerative price. The business of Organic Spices was started from 1999. The last 5 years export figures are given in Annexure – I.
Now KASAM has also being listed nationally as a renowned manufacturer as well as a processer of organic spices & also proposed to start direct export of organic spices in the year 2013, from Kandhamal district, Odisha.
- KASAM is purchasing spices from the members through SDS by giving a remunerative price and through this it intervene in the market and provides bargaining capacity to the farmers.
- It has distributed 212nos of improved turmeric boiling units at subsidised rate to the members. The improved boiling unit is easy to handle, takes less time for processing and less fuel consumption.
- Through KASAM 600nos of polythene sheets is being supplied to member at subsidised rate by Spices Board for drying spices hygienically.
- KASAM facilitated for construction of 9nos of concrete drying yards of 50sq.mt size @ 90% subsidy to ST and 50% subsidy to SC and other category beneficiaries by Spices Board.
- 48nos of Vermi compost units @ Rs 1000 subsidy by Spices Board have been organised with the members for production of vermi compost.
The individual contribution of primary members is the main capital of KASAM. So far the field level Spices Development Societies have deposited Rs.43,57,552/- Lakhs as loan to KASAM.
KASAM envisages to pursue the following aspects for the benefit of its members.
- Increase area of production by organising new Spices Development Societies.
- Set up another processing plant at Phulbani.
- Help poor children of members in ITI Education.
- Educate members on organic method of cultivation and increase production of hygienic and value added organic spices.
- Market organic spices in export market.
- Work with the line departments and WSHGs to facilitate group marketing.