Kochi: Encouraged by the $1 billion (Rs4,000 crore) worth of spices exports from India in 2008-07, trade promotion body Spices Board is making a bid to draw countries to buy more of Indian seasoning.
The government-backed body will highlight its efforts to establish spice parks across the country, its thrust on organic cultivation and other quality-improvement initiatives at a three-day meeting of the American Spice Trade Association (Asta) starting in Los Angles on Monday.
Asta has about 240 members, including governmental and non-governmental spice organizations, and trade representation from across the globe.
Going places: Spice traders at a wholesale shop in New Delhi. India dominates the spice trade, accounting for more than half of the total global exports worth $2 billion. (Photo: Harikrishna Katragadda/ Mint)
The aim is to establish India as a processing hub, said S. Kannan, director, Spices Board. India would showcase the efforts it has taken in quality control through programmes such as good agricultural practices in spice farms, integrated pest management in chilli farms and the setting up of laboratories across the country with modern testing facilities, he said.
“India has not just the infrastructure, but also the technical capability and expertise in spice processing. Attempts to duplicate the infrastructure set up here in their countries will add to their costs,” Kannan said, referring to other spice-producing countries.
“It will only be meaningful and profitable for various spice-producing countries to make India the centre of their processing activities.”
The Spices Board had projected during the previous annual Asta conference that exports of spices would reach the $1 billion level in 2010, but succeeded in achieving this level two years earlier, the board director noted.
Of the 420,000 tonnes of spices exported in the previous fiscal year, 54,000 tonnes were to the US, a 14% rise from the year-earlier period.
India dominates the international spices trade, accounting for nearly 45% of the 800,000 tonnes of global exports in the previous year. The country already has more than 50% share of the $2 billion worth of global spices exports.
In the 11th Plan period, the Spices Board will focus on developing and promoting organic cultivation of spices such as ginger, turmeric, large cardamom and hot chillies in the north-eastern states of Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland and Tripura. The board has even proposed to make the North-East the hub for organic spices within India.