Sinlung /
19 May 2015

Large Cardamoms from NE Pose Stiff Challenge to Kerala Growers

Kochi, May 19 : Kerala, which has lost out to Karnataka in terms of domination in pepper production, is now slipping in cardamom too. North Eastern variety of large cardamom, which commands nearly double the price of Kerala’s small cardamom, is likely to outstrip Kerala production in coming years, going by the Spices Board’s effort in NE region.
The Spices Board has plans to set up a Centre of Excellence in large cardamom research, common facility centre, training centre and quality testing lab in 25 acres of land in Arunachal Pradesh. The board also plans to set up cardamom auction centres in Namsai and Kimin in Arunachal Pradesh.

States like Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Nagaland, Tripura, Meghalaya and Mizoram are suitable for spice farming, experts point out.

“Compared to other parts of the country the North East India is underutilised in terms of spices production. The potential to cultivate large variety of cardamom is huge there. The NE region has the potential to grow as a major hub of cardamom production in the country. Bulk of production in the area is consumed within India,” said Spices Board Chairman A Jayathilak.

The price of small cardamom, which is available in Kerala, now trades in the range of Rs 620-870 per kg. Whereas the price of large cardamom is in the range of Rs 1,650-1,750 per kg. For the Kerala variety the price at the same period a year ago was Rs 750-1,030/kg.

Interestingly the price of large cardamom, which is the major variety produced in the North East, was in the range of Rs 1,275-1,350 per kg last year. The prices have increased by almost 30 per cent for the large variety this year mainly due to low availability and increased demand.

The cultivation of cardamom comes under the mandate of Spices Board. It is estimated that around 75,000 hectares of land in India is under cardamom farming. The major areas are Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu (small cardamom) and Sikkim, West Bengal (large cardamom).

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