Mumbai: India is likely to spend about Rs60 crore for development of organic spices by 2012, especially on chilli, turmeric and ginger, a senior official said on Wednesday.
The country is also expected to export organic spices worth Rs240-260 crore by 2012, V.J. Kurian, chairman, Spices Board, said. “We are going to develop north-east region as the organic spices hub of India,” he said.
Organic spices are grown without using chemicals and fertilizers. Demand for organically produced foods is growing rapidly in developed countries such as Europe, US, Japan and Australia.
The government-controlled Spices Board will select one district in each of the states in the north-eastern region to develop organic spices, he said.
Spices Board has tied up with ITC Ltd to develop and market the Naga chilli, the hottest chilli in the world.
The programme will be implemented through non-governmental organizations that will mobilize self-help groups to collect the produce from growers and undertake the grading and primary processing, he said.
The board is also planning to set up four more quality testing laboratories in Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai and Guntur, Kurian said.
The Kolkata laboratory will mainly cater to the organic spices produced in the north east, he added.
Spices Board opened its second laboratory for quality checks in Mumbai on Wednesday to make testing of export samples easier for spices, with an investment of Rs5 crore. Its first lab is in Kochi.
India is planning to increase its share in the world spices trade to 65% both in volume and value by 2017, he said. In 2007/08, the country had a share of 35% in volume and 37% in value.
India’s spices exports are likely to rise 18% to $1.3 billion (Rs5,564 crore) in 2008/09 due to good demand for chilli, pepper and cumin seed. The country’s exports touched a recoed $1.1 billion in 2007/08.
Poor crop in competing countries such as China, Myanmar, Syria and Turkey could boost turmeric and cumin seed exports, Kurian said.
India produces more than 4 million tonnes of spices and exports around 180 spice products to more than 150 countries.