Trivandrum: A new Spices Park with all the state-of-the-art facilities will be set up in Wyanad with the support of the Kerala Government. This is to facilitate value addition at the farm level to enable farmers to move up the value chain to obtain better prices.
An initial investment of Rs.15 crore is being allotted for the project, this was announced by Shri Anand Sharma, Union Minister for Commerce, Industries and Textiles. Speaking at the function organised by the Spices Board in Kovalam to present awards and trophies for excellence in exports and productivity in spices, the Minister said the Government is committed to enable farmers realise better prices.
The Wyanad Spices Park will focus on pepper specifically and will have all facilities for cleaning, grading, processing, value addition etc. like that has been provided in the present Spices Park at Puttady in Idukki district. Spices are always on demand throughout the world irrespective of market recession and hence the importance of value addition is more. Exports are going up and exports of spices will touch the US $ 3 billion market much before it is expected to achieve, the Minister said.
The Union Government will initiate the crop price insurance scheme for spices with tripartite consultations with the State Government, farmers and the Union Government.
Chief Minister, Shri Oommen Chandy who presided over the function stressed the need for the price insurance scheme for spices. The drought situation in the State is severe and hence the interests of the farmers are to be protected.
The Union Commerce Secretary SR Rao in his opening remarks wanted the farming groups to take to value addition since currently the margins in trade and commerce are pocketed by countries who import spices from India and do value additions in their territories.
Later awards for excellence in exports and productivity awards for Cardamom and vanilla and exports awards for overall performances were presented. Spices Board Chairman, Dr. A Jayathilak and Director Marketing, Dr KC Babu were among those present.
Kerala Biz News