(a) the details of production, consumption and export/import of coconut, turmeric, black pepper, cashew and other spices in the country during the last three years and the current year, year-wise commodity-wise;

(b) the steps taken by the Government to ensure the quality, adequate availability and contain the prices of these commodities in the domestic market;

(c) whether the Government proposes to set up a laboratory in Tuticorin to ensure quality of spices;

(d) if so, the time by which this laboratory is likely to be made functional; and

(e) the steps taken by the Government to promote the trade of these products ensuring their quality?

Answer given by the minister


(a) The details of production, consumption and export /import of coconut, turmeric, black pepper, cashew and other major spices are as given in the annexure.

(b) The most effective measure for stabilizing prices of horticulture crops including spices is to establish good Post Harvest Management infrastructure in the Country for which Government provides assistance under National Horticulture Mission (NHM) and Horticulture Mission for North-East and Himalayan States (HMNEH). This includes establishment of cold storages, setting up of terminal markets, whole sale markets and rural primary markets/apni mandies to ensure adequate supply of Horticulture produce to the consumers at reasonable prices. National Horticulture Board(NHB) is also implementing a scheme “Capital Investment Subsidy for Construction/Expansion/Modernization of Cold Storages for Horticulture Produce”.

In order to make available sufficient quantity of quality spices for export, the Spices Board is implementing programmes for post harvest improvement and organic cultivation of spices. In case of cardamom, Spices Board issues Auctioneer & Dealer Licenses and facilitates of e-auction to regulate domestic market.

Coconut Development Board is also implementing schemes for the production of quality processed products from coconuts. In order to support the farmers from the prices crash and contain the prices from falling further, procurement under the Price Support Scheme is in operation in the major coconut growing states under the auspices of NAFED.

(c) & (d) The Quality Evaluation Laboratory of Spices Board at Tuticorin has already been established. Th installation of the equipments is in progress and the lab is likely to start functioning by September 2012.

(e) For ensuring quality of the spices exported from India, mandatory pre-shipment sampling & testing has been introduced by the Spices Board in the case of turmeric, chilli, ginger, nutmeg and sugar coated fennel for illegal dye Sudan I-IV and Aflatoxin. Apart from this, Spices Board is also introducing mandatory sampling and testing of export consignments of chili, chilli products, cumin and cumin products from India to Japan for pesticides viz., Ethion, Iprobenphos, Triazophos and Profenofos with effect from 01.09.2012. Only with cleared analytical report obtained from the Spices Board, these spices are allowed to be shipped from the country. The Board has established quality evaluation laboratories in Kochi, Mumbai, Chennai and Guntur. New labs are going to be operational in New Delhi and Tuticorin. Similarly, CEPC has established a Lab and Technical Dvision to ensure the quality of the cashew.

As regards, coconut, in addition to quality certification under BIS/Agmark for the various products from coconut and ISO certification for the units to ensure quality of product and the manufacturing process for the units assisted under TMOC, Board extends Market Promotion support to units undertaking processing of coconut.