KOCHI: India is all set to find more demand for its large cardamom in the international market now that Sikkim, which produces a chunk of this highly-valued spice, has been declared an organic-farming state, according to the Spices Board.
Organically-grown large cardamom may be priced higher than its fertiliser-fed counterpart, but the former has burgeoning premium-class consumers abroad whose number is increasing of late, said Spices Board Chairman A Jayathilak.
He added that organically-raised large cardamom is another initiative under the present government’s Make in India mission.
India exported 665 tonnes of large cardamom in 2014-15. In the first half of the current fiscal cardamom worth Rs 20.12 crore was exported from India. Sikkim, which grows large cardamom in 17,000 hectares, produces 4,000 metric tonnes (90 per cent of the country’s production) of the spice annually. The Spices Board has released the ‘Organic Sikkim’ logo on January 18 in the presence of that Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling.
The Spices Board has a team of 50 employees working in Sikkim to sustain organic farming and to empower the growers to earn more from their produce in the coming years. Large-cardamom cultivation will get further boost in the six months from now as Spices Board is set to launch an e-platform for its famed fortnightly auction in Sikkim’s traditional spice market of Singtam. This is in accordance to the Digital India campaign, Jayathilak said.
“The idea is to cut down on middlemen. The Singtam auctions (since 2010) have already had an impact in the national price of large cardamom, with farmers getting six times more prices than what prevailed five years ago,” he further said.