-KH News Desk
The 2nd Edition of Kerala Spice Conference & Exposition organized by CII Kerala in partnership with CII Food and Agriculture Centre of Excellence (FACE) & Spices Board was successfully held on 28th of September 2022 at Kochi.
Inaugurated by P Rajeeve, Minister for Industries & Commerce & Plantation Directorate, Government of Kerala said, “Kerala should be proud to be the global leader for processing of spices and we should showcase this to the world”. “Kerala is the first state that has constituted a Plantation Directorate under the Ministry of Industries and Commerce. The state is in the process of finalizing the new Industrial Policy 2022 which will be made available in the public domain shortly” the Minister added. Referring to the State’s achievements in the industrial sector the Minister said that the state has made a leap to the 15th position from the 28th position in 2019 in the Ease of Doing Business index. Kerala has now evolved to be a major hub of food processing industry. The state has been a leader in adopting futuristic technologies and around 50-60 % of oleoresin production happens from the state; Kochi is now the hub of oleoresin production.
Mentioning the State’s support in the industrial sector, P Rajeeve informed that the state offers various food parks and industrial corridors for the investors to start their enterprises. At present, the state has two Mega Food Parks at Alappuzha and Palakkad and the new Spices Park at Thodupuzha, Idukki is expected to be functional in 2023.
The state considers food tech as the major sector and 10 mini food park projects are under process. “Under the One Lakh Industries programme, 60667 new enterprises have been registered in a span of 180 days with 9652 units in the Food Tech sector. This has brought an investment of 3681 crores generating 163858 job opportunities” added the Minister.
“Spice as such has always been associated inextricably with the annals of history right from time immemorial. With the passage of history as well as the time, there has been a shift in who is who of the spice trade. Yesterday’s spectators have become active participants today. With the kind of passage of time, the advent of market forces and also for various agro economic reasons that are associated with spice trade and industry, there has been a paradigm shift in terms of spice trade”, said APM Mohammed Hanish IAS, Principal Secretary, Industries, General Education, Rev (Wakf) Department, Govt. of Kerala. “Kerala needs to pitch itself in a different manner. When it comes to the whole of the country as such, new emerging areas are found; Northeast has been a new area wherein a great deal of spices are found in large numbers. But ultimately the question is with regard to the acreage, the productivity, and also the kind of branding and positioning in the global market”, added APM Mohammed Hanish.
Speaking at the occasion Shri D. Sathiyan IFS, Secretary, Spices Board opined that “the COVID-19 pandemic was a revelation for the world to realize the true powers and potential of spices. There is no doubt that spices are storehouse of compounds having immune boosting properties”. He also stressed that the robust Indian spice industry moves forward with a vision to strengthen its position as the premier supplier of clean, safe, and value-added spices and spice products to industrial and retail segments of the global spices market. Indian spices conform to the quality and food safety standards of the importing countries and adhere to the good practices in production, processing, and value- addition.
Dr Geemon Korah, Chairman, CII Kerala State Council & Executive Director & CEO, Mane Kancor Ingredients Pvt Ltd stated that “while the spice industry has expanded in terms of raw material advantage, India still continues to be the single largest processing hub and Kerala as a Global processing hub for spices. And this is primarily because of the process and adaptive technology we have brought into the spice industry over the 50 years being in the forefront leading the way setting benchmark for the Global Industry.
The 2nd Edition of Kerala Spice Conference & Exposition at Kochi will deliberate on promoting the state as a spice hub, creating global standards, new trends and to promote Kerala spices and spice products to global market during 27 & 28 September 2022. The objective of the conference is to position Kerala as a Spice Destination and a Safe Food Destination to expand more global markets. The conference will bring together the Spice and Value-Added Spice Industry.
The conference witnessed the participation of more than 340 delegates from different parts of the country. The technical sessions covered topics such as Value Addition in Spices – the way forward with focus on Cardamom, Pepper, Ginger, Turmeric, etc.; Pesticide usage in spices and issues associated with it – What Kerala can do as a ‘first mover state’; and Sustainability and technology for the spices industry.
The second day of the conference covers sessions on ‘Global Marketing- Opportunities and Challenges’, ‘Strategies for Biodiversity – Friendly Farming’, ‘Focus for FPOs – Sharing Best Models of GAP and Certifications’, and ‘Govt Initiatives to promote exports’
The exposition arranged as part of the conference showcased processing equipment, machineries, packaging, and exporters.