The Centre has prohibited the import of pepper below the minimum import price of Rs 500 for a kilogram, heeding to a demand by the domestic pepper growers.
When the pepper price reduced, the government had fixed a minimum import duty at Rs 500. In spite of it, poor quality of pepper was imported to India. To check the poor quality of pepper from entering the domestic market, the Centre has prohibited the import of pepper below the minimum import price of Rs 500, said Consortium of Pepper Growers Organisation convener Konkodi Padmanabha and coordinator K K Vishwanath.
They said Kodagu district is known for quality black pepper production. About 15,000 tonnes of black pepper is produced in the district. The steep fall in the price of pepper had affected the farmers.
The decision comes following the complaint by pepper growers that importers have been practising dubious methods to import poor quality of pepper.
It may be recalled that the sudden fall in the price of pepper last year had resulted in the series of protests by the growers. The police had seized over 100 bags of poor quality of pepper stored in an APMC godown in the district as well.