"The Spices Board has said the largest market for spices is growing in India. We need to have our exports no doubt, but within India the market is growing and I think we need to capture and service that market first", the Minister said while speaking at a function organised by Spices Board after launching the composite Promotion for Spices here.

"We need to find good prices for their produce and market within India", she said assuring that farmers and spices growers would all be given equal importance and priority.

The Indian spice users, who are very nuanced in their taste about spices, have kept the interest in spices growing, she said, adding, "So we need to put our energy together to develop this very discreet but all pervasive market within India".

A market for the surplus of what is produced, after servicing in India, will also have to be found, she said.

On the issue of pepper imports, the Minister said the seriousness of the issue lies in the fact that when import comes in prices come down causing sufferings to the growers.

The Commerce Ministry will take a comprehensive look at the problems of pepper growers in the country as increased imports will affect growers, she said.

The Minister said there is need for a composite approach for the promotion of spices in the country, especially the north east which was doing 'extremely well' in spices.

Several landlocked areas of India which do not have the advantage of sea, remain where they are, she said.

Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said decline of pepper prices in recent times was a matter of concern. "We have now reached a situation prompting us to import pepper. This was disappointing", Chandy said, adding, there was need to assess the ground realities and come up with measures for revival of pepper, turmeric and ginger.

Stressing the need to promote spices at international level, he said this would ensure more foreign traders coming to Kerala which will help in improving the state's economy.

Latest News  from Business News Desk