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SPICES

Kinfra gets in-principle nod from Centre to set up Idukki spice cluster
Tuesday, 20 February, 2018, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Our Bureau, Mumbai
The Kerala Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (Kinfra) has obtained the in-principle approval of the Central government to set up a spice processing cluster at Thodupuzha in Idukki District.

Kinfra has proposed to establish a spice park in Kerala’s Idukki district for the processing and value addition of spices and spice products, offering processing facilities at par with the international standards.

The regional crop-specific spice park is a well-conceived approach to have an integrated operation to encourage cultivation, post-harvest, processing for value addition, packaging, storage and exports of spices and spice products by meeting the quality specifications of the consuming countries.

The estimated project cost of Rs 12.50 crore for the proposed spice park, excluding the cost of land. The park area is 15 acre. Twenty developed plots for allotment to SME spice/food processing units covering about 10.5 acre.

It has common facilities like a telecommunications centre, a documentation centre, a raw material storage facility, marketing outlets, a cafeteria and a conference room. The internal roads are well laid-out, and there are power supply, water supply, sewage treatment and common effluent disposal facilities.

The source of funding was met by availing a grant of Rs 6 crore under the Micro- and Small Enterprises-Cluster Development Programme (MSE-CDP) Infrastructure Development scheme of the Government of India and the balance from Kinfra and the Government of Kerala.

The detailed project report (DPR) for the proposed spice park will be sent to the Central government to obtain its final approval.

India is the largest producer, consumer and exporter of spices in the world. India produces more than 65 spices in different varieties out of the 109 spices listed by ISO.
 
Kerala is the leading producer and exporter of spices and produces the largest volume of pepper cardamom and ginger.

The total exports of spices from India during the year 2015-16 was valued at Rs 14,014 crore.

While the total pepper production in India is 57,000 tonne, Kerala’s contribution is 20,000 tonne.

The total cardamom production in India is 17,990 tonne. Of this, Kerala’s contribution is 15,650 tonne.

The total ginger production in India is 10,81,430 tonne. The southern state’s contribution is 20,000 tonne.

The total tamarind production is 1,90,700 tonne. Of this, Kerala’s contribution is 38,250 tonne.

Pepper export from Kerala, through Kochi Port, has found its way to nearly 50 markets all over the world dominance in this sector.

Other exports from the southern state include turmeric, curry powder, nutmeg, vanilla, mace, oleoresins and spice oils.

The Kerala spice industry has a rosy future, with the rise in the demand for spices from new emerging segments like nutraceuticals.

Yet another way of growth has been the industry’s alacrity in exploiting the potential of tourism. This has helped spice plantations to maintain healthier bottom-lines.

The main objectives of Kinfra for the spice industry encompass the development of infrastructure as envisaged under the modified MSE-CDP of the Government of India. These include the following:

    • To create a cluster for spice processing sector
    • To identify and support entrepreneurs
    • To provide infrastructure facilities, such as developed industrial plots, dedicated power supply, water supply, communication system, security measures, marketing infrastructure, etc.
    • To develop industry specific infrastructure requirements
    • To provide common infrastructure facilities for both post harvest and processing operations of spices and spice products with international standards
    • Backward integration by providing rural employment
 
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