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If Black Pepper is the king of spices, Cumin Seed, popularly known as Jeera in India, is the second most popular spice in the world. Jeera is an ancient spice and has a history of more than 5000 years. The botanical name of Jeera is Cuminum Cyminum and it belongs to the family of aromatic plants. Jeera is available in three colors: amber, white and black.
Jeera is enriched with proteins, vitamins, carbohydrates, minerals and fat. Cumin seeds are abundantly used in various ayurvedic medicines mainly to treat physical conditions like obesity, stomach pain and dyspepsia.
As a medicinal plant, Cumin has the ability to aid digestion, improve immunity, skin disorders, respiratory disorders, bronchitis, common cold, anemia etc. It is also used in veterinary medicines and perfumes.
Jeera is used as a spice in food because of its distinctive flavor and aroma. This spice is available both as powder and seeds. Jeera is an essential spicy item flavoring food preparations especially in South Asia, Northern Africa and Latin America.
India is the largest producer, consumer and exporter of Jeera in the world.
India contributes 70% of Jeera production in the world. Gujarat and Rajasthan are the major producing states, followed by West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Punjab.
Cumin is a rabi crop sown in winter months of October – November, December and harvested in February, March, April. RZ-19, GC-1, RZ-209 are the commercially cultivated varieties of Cumin in India.
Fertile, sandy, loamy soils are suitable for cumin cultivation and to grow the spice perfectly, moderate sub-tropical cool and dry climate is ideal. Humid climate and heavy rainfall are not suitable for the growth of cumin plants.
Internationally Syria, Turkey, China, Iran, Pakistan, USA are the other cumin producing countries. Singapore, Japan, United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Nepal and Malaysia are the major importing countries and India, Turkey and Iran are the major exporting countries.
Following are the local Jeera trading hubs in India:
Gujarat (Unjha, Rajkot)
Rajasthan (Kekri , Nagaur, Jodhpur, Palli, Jaipur, Niwai, Pratapgarh, Nembhaheda, Bhawani mandi , Jhalarapatan, Ramganj mandi, Rani, Palli, Kota, Jaipur)
Jeera (Cumin Seed) is also traded in the commodity futures market on the National Commodity & Derivatives Exchange ltd (NCDEX).
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