INDIA has taken steps to boost cardamom output from states in the northeast region of the country.
The Spices Board of India has initiated a process for bringing the cardamom traders of Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland under the Cardamom (Licensing and Marketing) Rules, 1987.
These rules dictate that all cardamom producers should sell the spice through a licensed auctioneer or dealer.
J Thomas, director of research at the Spices Board, said state governments should identify suitable farmers, non-governmental organisations, government agencies or individual entrepreneurs linked with farmers for starting large cardamom auctions in Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland.
“The authorities should motivate leading traders and exporters from upcountry markets to participate in the auctions,” he said, adding that the agro climatic condition in the two states was suitable for cultivation of cardamom.
Figures from the Spices Board show that in 2009/10, the northeast of India exported 1,000 tonnes of cardamom, while in calendar year 2010 the region shipped 775 tonnes.
In Sikkim, licensed dealers in assembly markets buy large cardamoms from growers directly. Farmers from Sikkim had received a good prices varying from Rs845 ($18.66) to Rs851 per kg, whereas current market prices range between Rs600 and Rs700 per kg.
Traders from Arunachal Pradesh can also participate in the auctions in Sikkim, as an auction for cardamom has been introduced and conducted in Sikkim from November 2010 to safeguard the interests of the growers.
The budgetary allocations for the spices sector of the region have been increased to Rs100m for 2011/12 from Rs85m in 2010/11 and Rs62m in 2009/10.
The Spices Board is also supporting the cardamom growers by providing financial assistance for meeting various expenditures, including those for plantation, maintenance, organic inputs purchasing and organic certific