'Sustaining productivity a worry for pepper growers'

'Sustaining productivity a worry for pepper growers'

'Sustaining productivity a worry for pepper growers'
International Pepper Community (IPC) Chairman A Jayathilak on Monday underscored that speculative activity should be avoided and stable price and market situation should be maintained at the current level to achieve sustainable and inclusive development of the pepper community.

Addressing the 43rd inaugural session of the IPC meet here, Jayathilak said sustaining productivity and also realising remunerative prices are the challenges before the IPC.

Stating that both production and price have been satisfactory over the past three years, he said, pepper’s share in the global spices market is 33 per cent and was worth over $2.3 billion in the year 2014.

“The production of pepper has stagnated over the past one decade in India, despite an increase in the area of cultivation, so steps are being taken for replantation and rejuvenation programmes through the National Horticulture Mission. The growth in Karnataka has been encouraging of late,” said Jayathilak, also Chairman of the Spices Board, under the Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

“The importing countries are coming up with stringent quality standards, particularly in the case of pesticide residue. Since the number of the farming community involved is in millions, controlling the quality is not easy. The prime responsibility of the policy-makers should be to ensure the quality and premium price to farmers. Even the farmers are quality conscious, but they need training and orientation,” he said.

Welcoming the participation of representatives from China, Cambodia, Micronesia and also from consumer nations, he said it will help understand issues related to quality and food safety.

Two publications — Production of Quality Pepper Planting Material and Pepper Statistical Yearbook 2014 — were released on the occasion. The next meeting is expected to be hosted by Indonesia, where the IPC is headquartered.