(a) the quantum of spices in tonnage exported during the year and the foreign exchange estimated to be generated therefrom;

(b) the details of the countries to which maximum quantity of spices has been exported so far;

(c) whether the export of some of the spices has been affected during the last three years due to competition from the other countries;

(d) if so, the details thereof and reasons therefor;

(e) whether any evaluation has been made in this regard;

(f) if so, the details thereof; and

g) the steps being taken by the Union Government to boost the export of spices?

Answer given by the minister


(a): During the current year, India could export 1,95,432 tonnes of spices

(April-October 2006) valued at Rs. 1725.15 crores. This is equivalent to US $ 376 million .

(b): The maximum export of spices during April-October, 2006 was made to USA

(26124.20 MT) followed by Malaysia (26048.38 tonnes) and Bangladesh (20999.73 tonnes).

(c): There is no regular fall in export of any of the spices during the last three years except that of celery.

(d) to (f): Celery export has declined from 4815 tonnes (2003-04) to 3400 tonnes (2005-06). An evaluation has been made in this regard. It has been found that celery is used mainly in soups and seasonings in the importing countries. The whole celery used for the above purpose is now getting substituted with celery oleoresin. The export of celery oleoresin has slightly increased from 2001-02 (170.9 tonnes) to 2005-06 (183.4 tonnes).

(g):Spices Board is taking a number of steps to improve the export of spices as are detailed below:-

Upgradation of technology for high-end value addition and developing capabilities to meet the emerging global food safety standards.

Adoption of high-tech processing technologies such as cryo-grinding steam sterilization, super fluid extraction and advanced system of packaging.

Assistance for setting up/ upgradation of in-house laboratories of exporters for testing among other things, pesticide residues, aflatoxin, physical, chemical and microbial contaminants and chemical composition of spices.

Adoption of quality certification procedures leading to accreditation under ISO, HACCP, SQF 2000, organic certification etc.

Development of innovative packaging for branded consumer packs for spices and spice products and adoption of barcode.

Promoting worldwide direct sale of premium category of branded Indian spices viz. `Flavourit` since March, 2005.

Promotion of export of organic spices; and

Quality improvement

Government of India has been giving a freight subsidy of Rs. 7 per kg i.e. Rs. 5 for ocean freight and Rs. 2 for internal transport subsidy for encouraging export of pepper up to a maximum of 20,000 MTs.