Taking a stride in the processing and value addition of spices and allied products, KINFRA has set up a spices park near Thodupuzha in Idukki, Kerala.

Raised on a 15.29-acre plot, the Spices Park, built at a cost of ₹20 crore, marks the realisation of an ambitious endeavour under the MSME Cluster Development Programme of the Union government.

The facility marks the completion of the first phase of developing the 20-plot Spices Park by KINFRA (Kerala Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation), which features industrial plots with roads, water and power. The basic infrastructure also includes a dedicated feeder from the KSEB substation, drains, rainwater harvesting, and a security post, besides an effluent treatment plant, administrative block, amenities building and ATM kiosk.

In his inaugural address, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said rising demand for value-added products would help industrial parks in Kerala to grow fast and facilitate the success of small and medium enterprises through stronger competence in the global market.

Entrepreneurs must eye beyond local markets and devise quality-enhancing strategies to ensure international standards for their products and earn consumer trust across continents, he said.

By using new-age technologies, entrepreneurs must come up with a variety of products. The Spices Park can facilitate processing and value addition of spices and allied products in accordance with modern needs, he said.

Noting that the functions of the Spices Park can benefit farmers as well, the Chief Minister said the ₹20-crore facility will help revitalise the agriculture sector. “Entrepreneurs must go for value addition of all products possible,” he added, pointing out that Kerala contributed to 75 per cent of the country’s spices exports.

Absence of a market chain and the inability to find new markets has been a challenge for the food-processing industry in Kerala, Vijayan said. “To overcome this problem, the government will guarantee markets for farm products by facilitating the intervention of the cooperative sector in agriculture marketing,” he pointed out, recalling that the state budget has earmarked ₹35 crore for this purpose.

The State Industries Minister Rajeeve said the second phase of the Spices Park will be completed in nine months. Authorities have decided to develop a food-processing park at Cheruthoni, 60 km east of here, on a ten-acre plot allotted by the Water Resources Ministry.