Date of this Version
Ray MK, Santra DK, Mishra PK, Das S. Indigenous Lakadong turmeric of Meghalaya and its future prospects. J App Biol Biotech. 2023;11(5):133-142. DOI: 10.7324/JABB.2023.11516-1
Turmeric (Curcuma longa) has long been used in traditional Indian medicine. India accounts for 80% of total global turmeric production. Lakadong turmeric gets its name from the tiny village of Lakadong, which is located in the foothills of the Jaintia Hills in Meghalaya, India. It is known for having a high curcumin content of more than 7%, as opposed to 2 - 4% in regular varieties. The tribes of this region brought Lakadong turmeric from the forest and domesticated it for medicinal purposes centuries ago. Growth in local coal industries and a gradual decline in the market have had a significant impact on and reduced Lakadong turmeric production. To resurrect the industry, the Meghalaya government has embarked on a mission to increase production of Lakadong turmeric to 50,000 metric tons (MT) per year by 2023, up from 20,000 MT currently. However, most farmers in this region have abandoned Lakadong turmeric cultivation due to low returns. To ensure farmers’ livelihoods, policymakers and the government must address future production challenges and create a viable market for such commodities. This review paper discusses the traditional history of Lakadong cultivation and its current status, challenges, and prospects. The paper also discusses the agronomic, phytochemical, and medicinal properties of turmeric.