Agri Business

Making spice farming sustainable for farmers

K V Kurmanath Hyderabad | Updated on November 12, 2019

Spices Board, WSO launch NSSP to help stakeholders yield better incomes

Indian spices, with an export base of Rs 17,000 crore, have a share of 40 per cent of all the global spice trade. The domestic market for spices is about Rs one lakh crore. But the spice farmers, by and large, don’t realise the real potential that these commodities can offer.

The real challenge is to add value, educating the stakeholders to realise the potential and making it a sustainable programme. The sector is also beset with the challenges such as climate change, low productivity, depleting water resources and the issue of pesticide residues.

National Sustainable Spice Programme

With a view to address these challenges and find solutions, stakeholders have announced the National Sustainable Spice Programme (NSSP). “Spices farmers across the globe are faced with uncertain pricing environment and adverse climatic situations. There are some other issues such as excessive use of chemical fertilisers, pests and diseases,” Philip Kuruvilla, Coordinator of NSSP, has said.

Introducing the features of NSSP to farmers, farmer producer organisations, processors, exporters, academic institutions and other organisations, he said

The World Spice Organisation (an arm of the All-India Spices Exporters Forum), Spices Board of India, IDH (the Sustainable Trade Initiative) and GIZ Global Project of Germany have joined hands to launch the programme.

The NSSP targets to convert a quarter of all the spices grown in the country sustainable by 2025. “The multi-stakeholder programme will help farmers reduce the use of pesticides and contaminants. It will address issues such as high dependency on chemical fertilisers and exploitation of natural resources, which contribute to climate change and outbreak of new diseases,” he said.

By harmonising standards and introducing of good agricultural practices (GAP), the country can increase incomes and achieve sustainability in spice farming operations.

Ramesh Bhat, a food safety expert, has related how poor standards in farming and contamination could not only impact the incomes but also cause short-term and long-term health complications. “International buyers would rejecte any farm produce with contamination and pesticide residues,” he said.

“The price the farmers get should be based on the additional value that they bring in the form of quality. We need to educate the farmers and other stakeholders on the importance of quality. To achieve this, we need to take up literacy programmes,” he said.

Published on November 12, 2019

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