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Cardamom e-auction launched

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6 tonnes traded during inauguration; prices decline due to selling pressure

Ushering in transparency: The Union Minister of State for Commerce, Mr Jairam Ramesh, inaugurating the cardamom e-auction at the Cardamom Planters Association Auction centre in Bodinayakanur in Tamil Nadu on Thursday. –
Ushering in transparency: The Union Minister of State for Commerce, Mr Jairam Ramesh, inaugurating the cardamom e-auction at the Cardamom Planters Association Auction centre in Bodinayakanur in Tamil Nadu on Thursday. –

G.K. Nair

Kochi, Aug. 23 The first ever e-auction in cardamom was officially launched at Bodinayakannur on Thursday by the Union Minister of State for Commerce, Mr Jairam Ramesh.

Launching the new system, the Union Minister said it would result in more transparency in trading and the growers would be benefited.

At the inaugural auction, 6 tonnes of the commodity were traded and the entire quantity was sold. Prices were more or less the same as in Wednesday’s conventional auction in Kumily.

At the Cardamom Processing and Marketing Company (CPMC) auction at Kumily on Wednesday, prices declined by Rs 15–Rs 20 a kg from that of the previous auction, on selling pressure.

The arrivals at the auctionhad gone up to 36 tonnes. Almost 60 per cent of the capsules that arrived were of the previous crop.

Maximum price was at Rs 525 a kg and minimum at Rs 275 a kg. Average was Rs 410 a kg. 8 mm capsule with good colour fetched Rs 500–540 a kg. 7 mm -8mm was sold at Rs 450–500 while 7 mm at Rs 425 – Rs 450 a kg. Current bulk was fetching Rs 375 – Rs 400 a kg, Mr P.C. Punnoose, General Manager, CPMC, told

Business Line

.

He said the arrivals from the new crop continued to remain thin because of the late crop and were expected to improve by mid-September when full harvesting would commence.

All the centres are conducting auctions during the week, apart from the first e-auction held at Bodinayakannur.

Some of the auctioneers told

Business Line

that if the new system was successful, they would switch over to e-auction in a month’s time. However, it might take some time for its introduction in the auction centres, they said.

Our Correspondent reports from Madurai

: Inaugurating the e-auction system, Mr Ramesh said a major change was being brought about in cardamom marketing with the aim to bring about increased benefits to farming community in terms of price and transparency in execution that would curtail the formation of cartels that have been the bane of the prevailing system.

With the introduction of the new system the average price paid to the growers should register an increase than hitherto received by them, he said.

Mr Ramesh said a proposal to replant cardamom in about 30,000 hectares in the next 5-7 years in Kerala, Tamil Ndu and Karnataka at an estimated cost of Rs 211 crore had been approved. Referring to competition from Guatemala, the Minister said the only way was to improve productivity and export more to secure a greater share in the market to enable to determine the price at the international level. Though 12,000 tonnes of cardamom was produced in the country, only 6 per cent was currently exported, he said.

Mr.V.J.Kurien, Chairman, Spices Board, said during the 11th plan, a Rs 2,100-crore proposal had been made for re-plantation and rejuvenation of various spices and the allocated money would be fully utilised in the next two years.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated August 24, 2007)
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