Indian cardamom output to fall due to floods, dry spell: DASD

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Updated: Sep 23, 2020 9:05 AM

Indian cardamom production is likely to fall short in the current season due to the unprecedented floods and subsequent prolonged dry spell experienced in major growing regions in the country, according to the data compiled by the state-run Directorate of Arecanut & Spices Development (DASD).

Production of small cardamom, which is traded in the exchanges and exported, is seen declining in Kerala, the major production region.

Indian cardamom production is likely to fall short in the current season due to the unprecedented floods and subsequent prolonged dry spell experienced in major growing regions in the country, according to the data compiled by the state-run Directorate of Arecanut & Spices Development (DASD). India is the second-largest producer of cardamom in the world after Guatemala. According to DASD,cardamom production in the country has declined in 2018-19 and 2019-20, especially in Kerala and Karnataka, due to climatic factors and incidence of pest and disease.

Idukki, Wayanad, Palakkad and Kottayam districts of Kerala and Kodagu, Hassan, Madigeri, Chickmagalure, Shimoga Districts of Karnataka were among the worst affected districts. The data submitted by DASD to the ministry of agriculture & farmers welfare shows that total cardamom production, which also includes large cardamom, is likely to be 20,417 tonne, as per third advanced estimate. Small cardamom production is pegged at 10,627 tonne, which is lower from 12,100 tonne in 2018-19 and 20,460 tonne in 2017-18. Production of small cardamom has fallen by almost 48% to 10,627 tonne in 2019-20 from 20,460 tonne in 2017-18.

Production of small cardamom, which is traded in the exchanges and exported, is seen declining in Kerala, the major production region. In 2017-18, production in Kerala stood at 18,350 tonne from 39,080 hectare land and in 2018-19 it declined to 11,540 tonne from 38,880 hectare. The third advanced estimate for 2019-20 pegs production at 10,080 tonne from 39,790 hectare land. DASD also reported that cardamom plantation sector has been affected due to the outbreak of Covid-19 and consequent lockdown and restrictions imposed to contain the spread of the pandemic.

The major issues faced by the sector were non- availability of migrant labourers, and marketing facilities, including logistics, due to the restrictions in movement coupled with the decline in the commercial activities across the globe.
Further,cardamom is a highly climate sensitive and location specific crop. Pest and disease incidence is also very high in cardamom. Cardamom is grown mainly in high altitude areas and hence the scope for area expansion is limited.

In order to support the cardamom farmers for selling their produce, the Spices Board of India under commerce ministry has initiated steps and restarted the e-auction for cardamom by following the Covid protocol. The Board has formulated standard operational procedures (SOP) for the small and large cardamom sectors covering all aspects from production to marketing, to ensure the safety of stakeholders.

DASD has reported that the Spices Board is encouraging farmers for area expansion of cardamom in non-traditional areas.

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