Kochi: Making it big, tribal youths of Idukki district of Kerala will soon ship to Germany about 5,000kg of organic black pepper produced by them, under a programme drawn up by the forest department of Periyar Tiger Reserve (PTR).
As many as 55 families residing in PTR in Mannarkudi and Vancihvayal areas are involved in this venture.
Under phase I, starting this month, about five tonnes of pepper would be exported to farmers’ cooperative Ecoland Herbs and Spices GmbH, said PTR deputy director Padma Mohanti from Thekkady. The cooperative has come forward to collaborate with Periyar Foundation’s (PF) ecodevelopment committee to buy the products directly from the tribals. PF is the licensee for exporters. Organic certification to ship the products to Europe has been taken from certifying agency Lacon, range officer Raju K. Francis, the man behind the project, said.
Negotiations were also under way with buyers from various countries to get export orders. Samples have also been sent to Gulf countries and orders are awaited, Francis said. From next year, the exercise of branding and ‘geographical indication’ would be taken up.
There are also plans to export ginger, bird eye chillis and even vegetables from next year, Mohanti added.