The pepper farming community has sought the urgent intervention of the Central government to curb all illegal imports from Vietnam and Brazil via the Myanmar border for the benefit of domestic growers.

The Kerala chapter of the Indian Pepper and Spice Traders, Growers, Planters Consortium pointed out that the Customs have seized many containers of black pepper imported from Vietnam and Brazil with misdeclaration of plastic films, paper, etc and the product is flooding the consuming markets of Delhi, Mumbai, Indore, Jaipur, etc, resulting in the decline of prices.

Such shipments also hit the demand in domestic consumption in producing centres such as Kerala, and Karnataka.

Memorandum submitted

Kishore Shamji, Coordinator of the Consortium submitted a memorandum in this regard to the visiting Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal, highlighting various demands to take the Prime Minister’s slogan of Vocal for Local, thereby protecting the domestic pepper growing community.

It is pointed out by the Consortium that EOUs and SEZs are permitted to send out imported pepper for job work or processing as part of value addition and re-exports. However, it is widely alleged by the pepper farming community that this imported stuff enters the domestic market, hitting the interests of domestic growers.

The Consortium urged the government that the DGFT should issue duty-free import licenses only to those who have pepper turnover and registered number of Spices Board.