Panelists at a webinar on National Sustainable Spice Programme (NSSP) on Cardamom highlighted the need for making 25 per cent of spices grown in India sustainable by 2025.
Towards achieving this objective, they urged the active involvement of all the stakeholders in the NSSP initiative. The webinar was conducted as part of the launch of NSSP for cardamom for the benefit of farmers and other stakeholders of the cardamom sector.
D Sathiyan, Secretary, Spices Board, pointed out the challenges faced in the cardamom sector and the need for addressing the issues of quality and food safety across the entire spices supply chain, starting from the cultivation stage. The emphasis on food safety, quality and sustainability is the need of the hour to retain the country’s dominant position in the traditional export markets, while increasing the market base to cover new markets for Indian spices, he said.
Spices Board, in collaboration with World Spice Organization – the technical arm of All India Spices Exporters Forum, IDH (The Sustainable Trade Initiative) and GIZ Global Project (Private Business Action for Biodiversity) has undertaken NSSP initiative on a pan-India basis covering five major spice crops of India namely cardamom, pepper, chilli, cumin and turmeric.
Support to farmers
NSSP initiative seeks to support the farmers in improving the quality of their spice produce by addressing the quality, food safety, and sustainability and biodiversity concerns in the supply chain to ensure better price realisation for farmers and to contribute to increasing the exports.
The participants were enlightened on the prospects and potential for adopting bio-diversity friendly production as well as other sustainable practices across the entire supply chain of small cardamom. The various initiatives taken by the Spices Board in collaboration with the industry were presented to the stakeholders.
The exporter-participants reiterated their commitment to procuring sustainably produced cardamom at a premium price which would help to further promote exports of small cardamom, besides ensuring remunerative returns to the cardamom growers.
About 160 participants, comprising cardamom farmers from Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, exporters, traders, officials from Spices Board, Indian Institute of Spices Research (IISR), attended the webinar, which focused on export prospects, quality and food safety issues in cultivation of cardamom and the measures required to promote sustainable production.