As per data from the state agriculture department, cumin sowing in Gujarat has gone down to 4.69 lakh hectares from last season’s 4.88 lakh hectares.
Cumin exports from India are likely to cross 2 lakh tonne by the end of the current season, in the next couple of months.
Apart from India, Turkey and Syria are the major producers of cumin. Afghanistan, too, produces small quantities of cumin. However, Turkey and Syria have reportedly produced less cumin this season, and hence cumin exporters from India will benefit, said Ashwin Nayak founder-chairman of the Federation of Indian Spice Stakeholders, headquartered at Unjha in north Gujarat.
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More than 90% of India’s cumin crop is harvested in Gujarat and Rajasthan. Cumin yield from both states generally arrives at the Unjha Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC), one of the biggest agriculture markets in Asia.
“Compared to last year, cumin production in the country is likely to remain 10 to 15% lower. Last year, cumin production was around 92 lakh bags (55 kg per bag) in India. This season, it would be around 85 to 90 lakh bags due to early exit of winter in the cumin-growing areas of Gujarat,” Nayak said.
As per data from the state agriculture department, cumin sowing in Gujarat has gone down to 4.69 lakh hectares from last season’s 4.88 lakh hectares. The Unjha market is receiving nearly 1,000 bags per day from north Gujarat, Saurashtra and parts of Rajasthan.
Prices of good quality cumin are around Rs 2,700 to Rs 2,900 per 20 kg in Unjha, while those of medium quality cumin are around Rs 2,400 to Rs 2,600 per 20 kg.
With over 80% of the total cumin production of the world, India is the biggest exporter of the spice. Most of the exports are to Gulf countries, followed by the US, Europe, China and Latin American countries.
Last year, cumin production in Turkey was around 15,000 tonne. This year, it is estimated to be lower. In Syria, political instability has hampered the farming sector. Afghanistan’s production has increased to 10,000 tonne compared to around 6,000 tonne last year, a leading exporter said.