India’s spices exports are likely to sustain their growth momentum during next few years mainly due to enforcement of stringent pre-shipment quality checking norms, a Spices Board official said on Monday.
The mandatory pre-shipment checking through dedicated quality evaluation labs located in Chennai, Delhi and Tuticorin prior to exports of spices has ensured that number of ‘alerts’ relating to pesticides residue presence in Indian consignments from European Union and the United States has declined from 121 in 2010-11 to only 16 in the last fiscal.
“We are aiming at reducing such alerts to negligible level in the next three years through using quality evaluation labs,” Spices Board chairman A Jayathilak told FE.
Jayathilak said these labs have been equipped to detect chemicals or pesticides like sudan dyes in chilli and turmeric powder, aflatoxins in chilli, ginger and tumeric and pesticide residues in cumin and chilli exports consignments.
Meanwhile, as per the official data, spices exports mainly consisting of chilli, mint, pepper and turmeric increased by 9% to R6,962 crore in the first six month of current fiscal in comparison to R6,364 crore reported in the same period last fiscal.
In volume terms, spices exports grew by 12% to 4,21,570 tonne during April-September period of this fiscal as against 3,76,584 tonne in the corresponding period of the previous year.
In 2013-14, chilli, cumin, turmeric, coriander and fenugreek accounted for more than 70% of the total volume of spices exports whereas mint, chilli, spice oils and oleresins and cumin account for around 70% of the total value of exports.
Chilli, which has largest share in the country’s spices exports rose to 1.6 lakh tonne worth R1,547 crore during the period. The exports rose by 17% in quantity and 23% in value terms.
Exports of mint and mint products (mint oils, menthol and menthol crystals) were worth R1,463 crore. Cumin exports stood at R977 crore.
Spices Board, which operates under the commerce ministry, has a mandate to promote exports of 52 spices in any form, including curry powder, oils, oleoresins and other spice mixes, where spice content is predominant. Besides exports development of spices, the board also looks after production of cardamom (small & large).
More than six million tonne of spices are traded in the country annually with estimated turnover of R60,000 crore. More than five million growers and traders are engaged in the spices trade.