Clean Tech

The taste of things to come

Our Bureau | Updated on June 19, 2018 Published on June 19, 2018

An Indo-German project on biodiversity aims to add zing to the spices sector

Variety, they say, is the spice of life. But that is exactly what we are losing in the Indian spice sector. Precious spices like black pepper, green and black cardamom, nutmeg, and cinnamon, which grow in the Western Ghats, are losing their biodiversity quotient. They are increasingly being subjected to poor agricultural practices such as intensification of production and excessive use of pesticide. This brings with it environmental degradation in the form of clearing of forest areas, watershed contamination, soil pollution and ultimately pesticide residues in the crops itself.

The same spices were cultivated in earlier days and can be cultivated again via mixed cropping. Chemical pesticides can be replaced by natural repellants, making innovative use of the natural biodiversity of the region to bolster production. In short, spices can be grown in a biodiversity-friendly manner.

This, in fact, is being done by a few entrepreneurs who export their spices to countries where quality standards are stringent, and where demand for organic production is growing. Poor agriculture practices ensure that small producers, however, lose out on such orders.

To increase the production of biodiversity-friendly spices, the Capital last week saw the launch of a global project, ‘Fostering role of Business in Biodiversity Conservation’. It brought together the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, and German environment agency GIZ to work on a ‘Private Business Action for Biodiversity’ (PBAB) project that seeks to “identify and analyse promising mechanisms and instruments for promoting biodiversity-friendly production and commercialisation.”

Aimed at SMEs

The project will test pilot approaches in three countries — India, Brazil and Mexico. In India, it will focus on the spice supply chain in the Western Ghats with the National Biodiversity Authority as the nodal agency. The aim is to spread awareness about the issue and nudge biodiversity-friendly systems among Indian spice producers, especially the small and medium enterprises.

The project will take the help of the Spice Board of India, National Biodiversity Board, companies producing spices and their business associates.

Published on June 19, 2018

A letter from the Editor


Dear Readers,

The coronavirus crisis has changed the world completely in the last few months. All of us have been locked into our homes, economic activity has come to a near standstill. Everyone has been impacted.

Including your favourite business and financial newspaper. Our printing and distribution chains have been severely disrupted across the country, leaving readers without access to newspapers. Newspaper delivery agents have also been unable to service their customers because of multiple restrictions.

In these difficult times, we, at BusinessLine have been working continuously every day so that you are informed about all the developments – whether on the pandemic, on policy responses, or the impact on the world of business and finance. Our team has been working round the clock to keep track of developments so that you – the reader – gets accurate information and actionable insights so that you can protect your jobs, businesses, finances and investments.

We are trying our best to ensure the newspaper reaches your hands every day. We have also ensured that even if your paper is not delivered, you can access BusinessLine in the e-paper format – just as it appears in print. Our website and apps too, are updated every minute, so that you can access the information you want anywhere, anytime.

But all this comes at a heavy cost. As you are aware, the lockdowns have wiped out almost all our entire revenue stream. Sustaining our quality journalism has become extremely challenging. That we have managed so far is thanks to your support. I thank all our subscribers – print and digital – for your support.

I appeal to all or readers to help us navigate these challenging times and help sustain one of the truly independent and credible voices in the world of Indian journalism. Doing so is easy. You can help us enormously simply by subscribing to our digital or e-paper editions. We offer several affordable subscription plans for our website, which includes Portfolio, our investment advisory section that offers rich investment advice from our highly qualified, in-house Research Bureau, the only such team in the Indian newspaper industry.

A little help from you can make a huge difference to the cause of quality journalism!

Support Quality Journalism
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor
You have read 1 out of 3 free articles for this week. For full access, please subscribe and get unlimited access to all sections.