Commodities

Spices Board mulls using e-NAM portal for cardamom sales

V Sajeev Kumar Kochi | Updated on May 08, 2020

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The Spice Board is looking at the possibility of introducing an online mechanism for cardamom sales as an additional marketing facility, which does not require the physical presence of the buyers to participate in the sale process.

It is proposed to consider making use of the e-NAM portal for the sale of cardamom as the nationwide lockdown has affected the cultivation and trading of the commodity. The Kerala Government is in the process of implementing the e-NAM system for select crops, including cardamom, by establishing exclusive market places, said Board officials.

 

The project will be started on a pilot basis in association with the Kerala Agriculture Department at Spices Park in Puttady as the market place. The details are being worked out and the Board is in the process of consulting with stakeholders, the officials said.

The Board has also sought comments and suggestions from growers to make additional arrangements to market cardamom amidst the nationwide lockdown.

 

It is pointed out that the restrictions in the lockdown have badly hit the cardamom trade. This unprecedented event of the pandemic has made the norms of social distancing unavoidable, thereby necessitating deferment of e-auctions, both at Puttady in Idukki and Bodinayakanur in Tamil Nadu.

The Board has taken a series of measures to support the small cardamom stakeholders from the vagaries of the Covid-19 crisis. The Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for cardamom plantations, developed by the Board and vetted by health authorities, have been taken up with the Commerce Ministry and the concerned state governments for implementation. The Board has flagged the specific impact of the lockdown on the spice fraternity, as well as the multifarious issues faced by the cardamom and spices sector before the Commerce Ministry for appropriate consideration.

Meanwhile, growers are output to be higher by 20-25 per cent this year. The replanted area on account of the 2018-19 floods will start yielding this year, and that would enhance production. Last year, production was lower at around 20,000 tonnes.

However, the cancellation of cardamom auctions from March 18 has inflicted a revenue loss of ₹500 crore on the sector, coupled with a 5 per cent drain in the earnings of the exchequer in the form of GST payments. According to growers, the majority of auctioneers have intimated their willingness to the District Collector, Idukki, to resume auctions after the lifting of the lockdown.

Published on May 08, 2020

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