Despite the ensuing festival season, subdued buying of cardamom from upcountry markets has pushed the trading community in a precarious situation.
“What is happening now is only minimal trade with some specific orders which is not enough to tide over the crisis triggered by the pandemic,” sources in the sector told BusinessLine. The high labour cost and shortage of migrant labour from Theni due to Covid-19 restrictions has forced growers in Idukki to depend on labour that’s available in Kerala, which has increased costs by around 30 per cent, the sources said.
“September and October are considered a good time for a demand boost for cardamom from North Indian consuming markets. But the spread of Covid-19 has hit consumption due to restrictions on weddings, events, etc. Traders are in a dilemma on the dwindling demand, coupled with a stagnant export market due to the pesticide issue in Saudi Arabia,”