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Pepper production goes up, Vanilla vanishes

22 Jul 2021 2:38 pm
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Kochi 22 July (Commodities Control) National output of black pepper might increase in FY 2020 -21, according to the second advance estimates of horticulture crops, released by the Union Ministry of Agriculutre and Farmers Welfare.

As per the estimates production would be 119,000 tonnes as against 104,000 tonnes in the previous financial year. The data indicates that the area under pepper cultivation remained static at 259,000 hactares.

According to the first advanced estimates, total production was projected at 123,000 tonnes., indicating a marginal dip in volume in the latest estimates.

Pepper production moved on narrow changes during the last three years, varying from 104,000 tonnes to 137,000 tonnes. During 2018-19 total pepper output was 137,000 tonnes and dropped to 104,000 tonnes in the next fiscal.

The area under pepper cultivation increased by 14,000 hactares during the three year period as the area of pepper cultivation was 245,000 hactaes in 2018-19. The latest estimates indicate that total pepper cultivated area is 259,000 tonnes.

Meanwhile, the second edition estimates points to a surge in the overall production of all types of spices at 10.54 million tones during FY 2020-21.

This was 10.14 million tones in the previous financial year, showing an increase. This is mainly attributed to rise in production of red chillies, cardamom, coriander and garlic. The advance estimate indicate a fall in the production in the case of turmeric and cumin, compared to 2019-20.

Increase in the prices of most of the spices and surge in overseas demand also helped the rise in production. The total area under spices cultivation increased during last three financial years, from 40,67,000 hactares to 44,87,000 hactares.

Vanilla vanishes in India

The data also give an interesting information on vanilla cultivation in India. India’s vanilla production is nil during 2018-19 – 2020-21. More than a decade back India produced roughly 10,000 tonnes of green vanilla. This was mainly in Kerala where growers were crazy, then to plant vanilla vines.

This was mainly due to the sharp rise in global prices of the spice owing to serious shortage for natural vanilla. Crop failure in Madagascar, largest producer in the world, was the villain behind this. The price of vanilla sky rocketed to Rs 3000/Kg from Rs 250.

During that period growers from south India especially, from Kerala and Karnataka shown keen interest in planting vanilla, hence the increase in production. Later the scene changed as global supply increased, leading to steep fall in prices. Advent of synthetic vanilla , a substitute for natural vanilla, which is much cheaper also caused the vanishing of vanilla cultivation in India.

(By Commoditiescontrol Bureau: +91-22-40015505)

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