PTI: The Ministry of Commerce and Industry on Wednesday approved the proposal of the Spices Board for fixing the minimum import price (MIP) for pepper to protect the domestic growers from falling prices.
The Ministry of Commerce and Industry has approved the proposal of the Spices Board for fixing the CIF (cost, insurance and freight) value of Rs 500 per kg as minimum import price for pepper to protect the interests of pepper growers,” the government stated.
“In recent times, decline in the domestic pepper price due to cheaper import of pepper from other origins has been a major concern among pepper growers. Pepper prices have gone down by nearly 35 percent in one year and have resulted in a lot of hardship for pepper growers,” said Ministry of Commerce (MoC) statement.
Fixing of Minimum Import Price will help in improving the domestic price particularly when the harvesting season of pepper is fast approaching
Many farmers’ associations from Karnataka,Kerala and also Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has demanded Minister of Commerce to take strict measures to prevent cheaper imports.[irp]
Since most of the pepper-producing countries are in the ASEAN region, there have also been apprehensions of pepper from these countries being routed through Sri Lanka taking advantage of lower duty under SAFTA (South Asian Free Trade Area) and ISLFTA (India-Sri Lanka FTA) for availing concessional import duty, it said.
Karnataka and Kerala are the leading pepper producing states in the country.Pepper is one of the major cash crops grown in coastal and western parts of Karnataka.[irp]