Lab, training centre to be set up to boost NE spice industry
Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Thursday said the state government and the Spices Board would establish a quality evaluation laboratory and training centre for spices at Guwahati to further develop the spices industry in the northeastern region.
India produces 75 of 109 varieties of spices listed by ISO and has emerged as the world’s largest producer, consumer, and exporter. Assam produces nearly 3.1 lakh metric tonnes of spices annually. The northeast region has acquired special attention owing to the quality of organic spices.
While inaugurating the International Buyer Seller Meet (IBSM) and Spices Conclave organized by Spices Board at Guwahati, the Chief Minister said that the state being the gateway of northeast India, with better connectivity and fast-developing infrastructural facilities, Assam can leverage its potential for becoming a major hub for post-harvest processing and value addition of spices from the region and one of the major exporting hubs.
During the programme, Spices Board presented the Large Cardamom Productivity Awards for the years 2019-20, 2020-21, and 2021-22. Recipients of the prestigious Padma Shri Award from the region, Trinity Saioo, and Nanadro B Marak, were also honoured during the event. Over 50 buyers attended the inaugural day of the IBSM from different parts of Europe, Africa, Australia, and Asia. The spice sellers from Assam and the other seven northeastern states participated in the two-day IBSM and spices conclave.
Sarma said that steps are being taken to make the best use of schemes like PM-DevlNE, One District One Product and to convert the ‘by-default organic’ tag of spices to ‘certified organic’ or “organic by design”.
Arunachal Pradesh’s Agriculture and Horticulture Minister Tage Taki while addressing the participants of the IBSM stressed on the need for adequate technology and institutional support to further develop the spice sector of the northeastern region.
In his welcome address, Spices Board Secretary D Sathiyan said IBSM and Spices Conclave is envisaged to promote the indigenous spices of the eight northeastern states, especially the GI-tagged varieties of Sikkim’s Large Cardamom, Assam Karbi Anglong Ginger, Naga Mircha, Bird’s Eye Chilli (Mizo Chilli), Hathei Chilly and Dalle Khursani.
He said that the programme aims to create direct trade links for the indigenous, high-quality spices of the region with both national and international buyers. An exhibition highlighting the strength and capability of the region, in the production and export of spices, was also organized as part of the IBSM and Spices Conclave.
[With Inputs from IANS]
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