Kerala May Loose it Title as Spice Country of India

Published on: 31 Jan, 2014
Published under: General Kerala News, Kerala Agriculture News

31 January 2014

Kerala which holds the title of Spice Country of India from ancient times is seems to loose its title as severe challenge coming from next-door neighbor Karnataka which is all set to anoint itself as India’s new pepper country.

According to figures from the Directorate of Arecanut and Spices Development at Kozhikode, Karnataka has almost caught up with Kerala with the state’s production rising over six fold from just 3624 tonnes in 2007-08 to an estimated 22032 tonnes in 2012-13 even as Kerala’s production has almost halved from 41952 tonnes to an estimated 23678 tonnes during the same period.

Sharp decline in production from 12173 tonnes in 2002-03 in Wayanad to an estimated 2287 tonnes in 2012-13, has been a main driver in the change of spice fortunes of the state.

Spices Board officials too concurred about Karnataka gaining the edge in pepper production saying that the average yield of pepper vines in Karnataka was 5 to 6 times higher when compared to Kerala. In contrast Kerala has been hit by factors like small and marginal holdings, recurrent wave of pest and disease attacks and presence of unproductive vines which have been responsible for the fall in pepper production.

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