KOCHI: Kerala's pepper and cardamom, once the main ingredients of the India's famed spices export basket, may not enjoy the same status in terms of quantity and value of exports. But spice traders from the state have reinvented themselves by making the state as the major hub of value-added spices and spices products exports from the country.
"The state government and the other authorities concerned seem to have not realised the transformation of Kerala as the main hub of processed spices and spice products", says Jojan Malayil chief executive officer of Bafna Enterprises, a Kochi-based spices export firm. All major players in the global spice sector have their processing and manufacturing facility in the state, he said.
Apart from Synthite, global players such as AVT McCormick, Plant Lipids, Ned Spices and several others dot the spice processing landscape and most of them are located in and around Kochi. The Indian spice export sector does business worth more than $ 2 billion and Kerala- based firms have a significant role in the business, said Prakash Namboodiri, chairman of All- India Spices Exporters Forum.
The workers agitation in a company such as Synthite needed to be handled with much sensitivity by the authorities concerned as this is one of the rare segments of business in which the state can claim a leadership position, said Malayil. During Apríl-Decermber 2017 India exported 791,145 tonne spices and spice products worth $ 2.04 billion as against 663,247 tonne worth $ 1.88 billion in the same period a year ago....