Migrant workers’ exit worries spice trade

V.Sajeev Kumar Kochi | Updated on May 04, 2020

The departure of migrant labourers for their home states seem to have put pepper trade in a fix. According to the industry, their leaving would hit the sector badly, as these people are involved in various farm-related operations.

All sections of the spice industry are engaging these labourers and their absence is likely to affect various operations in the short term, said Kishore Shamji of Kishor Spices.

Meanwhile, pepper prices in Kochi remained steady at ₹310 for ungarbled varieties on Monday, while the offtake was hardly five tonnes. MG1 garbled varieties realised ₹330, while new pepper was quoted at ₹300.

According to Shamji, the government's directive to open hill produce shops in the red zone areas of Idukki and Wayand – the main spice producing districts – only for two days has led to limited pepper arrivals to Kochi. The Hill Producers Association has demanded that these shops be allowed to be open five days a week.

The Karnataka pepper market appears to be tight for supplies because farmers/ do not want to part with their stock at the current prices. There are also apprenensions over the rapid spread of of Covid-19 in Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Gujarat.

Published on May 04, 2020

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