Active involvement of stakeholders in sustainability initiatives and need for technology-oriented solutions are the major concerns to be addressed by the spices sector.
This was the finding of the four-day World Spice Congress, which concluded here on Wednesday.
As of now, the drivers of sustainability are mostly consumers and suppliers, but it is necessary that initiatives for the same should reach the producers also. This is one of the major challenges the sector needs to address immediately,
said the panelists at the plenary session of the congress.
It was also stated that the agricultural sector is facing acute shortage of manpower. Therefore, the need for technology-oriented solutions is critical in the sector.
Innovative technology needs to be used to produce high-quality goods which conform to global food safety norms and effective branding needs to be put in place to create an impact in the world market.
Addressing the congress, Rajeev Kher, Secretary, Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, said that India has ample potential in terms of promotion of non-conventional applications and exports of innovative products derived from spices.
The focus should be on non-traditional aspects of spices in sectors such as healthcare, fragrances, cosmetics and garments, which in turn has the capacity to define a new market for Indian spices, globally.
US Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, who addressed the delegates, expressed satisfaction at the Indo-US collaboration designed to enhance systematic responses for addressing challenges related to food safety and the spice industry.
The World Spice Congress saw the participation of delegates from 45 countries. The event had about 460 delegates from India and 265 participants from other countries.
The next World Spice
Congress is proposed to be held on an even more extensive scale, with active participation from national spice associations and global spice associations from other spice-producing countries.