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SPICES

Demand for immunity boosting spices on the rise amid Covid constraints
Tuesday, 22 December, 2020, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Vijetha Iyer, Mumbai
The demand for immunity boosting spices has increased, despite constraints of the pandemic-related lockdown. The volume and value of Indian spices has increased in exports.

While talking to FnB News, BN Jha, Deputy Director, Marketing, Spices Board of India, Mumbai, said, “Achievement can be seen for 2010-11, 2014-15, and 2019-20 compared to last year exports in volume have increased by 8 per cent in volume and 10 per cent in value rupees.  Turmeric is showing very good business scope in exports of 1,36,000 mt value of 1216.40 cr which contribute 11 per cent in volume and 6 per cent in value out of total exports. We have not noticed any downward trend in spices consumption even during Covid-19. Also, the adulteration of spices has come down this year.”

Focussing on exports, he said, “The exports of turmeric, chilly, cumin have been increasingly high this year compared to previous year. We also export herbal spices. India exports 50 per cent value-added spices.”
The Board has also conducted seven online Buyer-Seller Meets (BSMs), speaking about the same, he added, “The BSM is organised with a focus on different state's spices production potential. Accordingly, interaction with the buyers and sellers are organised to facilitate the business.”
Talking about the consumption of spices, Paras Budhiraja, MD of Paras Spices Private Limited, said, “The consumption of spices in India post-Covid has increased. Turmeric consumption is increasing, the sowing of these crops has also increased. In some areas in India, because of the floods, some crops like chilli were affected mainly in places like Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. This kind of factor led to crop shortage in certain regions so the prices have gone up. But then the consumption of spices has gone up. Other spices like coriander or others which grow in Gujarat and Rajasthan mainly, the Western part of India, these crops have come down. There are pricing related challenges post covid. Kerala is home of spices, the more consumption of spices is in Kerala. Some ingredients are bought internationally, nowadays, it takes more time to reach India. Around 20 per cent of our market has gone up compared to last year.”

Vijay Prasad, executive director, Annapoorna Masalas and Spices, Coimbatore, said, “In India, spices were not only used for its distinct flavours and colour but also for medicinal properties. Over the years, this property of spices slowly started losing its importance. This pandemic has brought in a major shift in consumer behaviour. This has led to increase in consumption of certain spices namely turmeric, ginger and pepper among others.”

Explaining about the challenges post-Covid, he added, “Considering the market size and potential of this category, a lot of new players have ventured into this space. The main challenge after this lockdown was to connect the broken supply chain and procurement of raw materials which is being worked upon. We are trying to bring process efficiency through cost control on consumables, reducing process waste, implementing automation wherever possible.”
 
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