14 Jul, 2021
India is the largest producer, consumer, and exporter of spices in the world and accounts for half of the global spices trade. Millions of Indian farmers are involved in spices cultivation and around 85 percent of the production is carried out by the small and marginal farmers who typically have less than 2 hectares of land.
There is an urgent need for sustainability in the spices sector to ensure optimal yield and enhancement of livelihood of small and marginal spice farmers. To achieve this, it is essential to adopt climate resilient sustainable agricultural practices which will withstand extreme climatic events like flooding and dry spells and conserve the soil fertility and water. Over the last decade, demands for organic products and sustainably grown products have been rising as consumers have become more attentive towards the nutritive value of the produce and methods of farming. Thus, farmers can get better prices for organically certified produce or sustainably grown produce by adopting sustainable agricultural practices in their farm. Although, the demand for these products is trending upward, the supply of certified organic or sustainably grown products is limited in the market causing a demand and supply gap.
To minimise this gap and improve net income of the farmers, there is need for implementing sustainable agriculture practices. Thus, there is need for awareness and capacity development of farmers for sustainable agriculture practice. To strengthen the capacities of small farmers on sustainable agricultural practices, AVT McCormick and GIZ are working together in the developp.de Spices project on the “Enhancement of smallholder Spice Farmer's Capacities in Sustainable farming”.
The project has planned series of training sessions virtually on ‘Sustainable Cardamom Cultivation Practices’ for the farmers in the Idukki district of Kerala. In the second training session of this series, on 17 July 2021, Dr A. K Vijayan, former Senior Scientist and Head Division, Indian Cardamom Research Institute (ICRI), Spices Board (Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Govt. of India) trained farmers on different sustainable practices for cardamom cultivation. 55 farmers including women farmers attended the virtual training programme.
The training was focused on planting methodology and cultural practices for cardamom. Dr Vijayan explained how the environmental deterioration in the cardamom hills is impacting crop production and the quality of cardamom. He explained briefly about biodiversity conservation in and around the cardamom fields, the importance of honeybees as pollinators and their beneficial impact on the yield of cardamom. A detailed package of practices to be followed from sowing to harvesting was shared with the farmer group. Dr Vijayan had explained briefly about sucker nursery production, field planting, biological control of pests and diseases, efficient water management techniques and schedule of farming operations like organic manuring, weeding and other cultural practices.
©PJ. Sijo, RajaKumari
The ‘Enhancement of Smallholder Spice Farmer’s Capacities in Sustainable Farming’ aims to strengthen the production of cardamom, cumin, and turmeric in four states of India - Kerala Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Rajasthan - to increase the capacities of spice farmers to make production practices more economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable.
The project is part of the develoPPP.de Programme implemented by GIZ on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The lead executing agency for this project is AVT McCormick. develop.PPP was set up by BMZ to involve the private sector in areas where business opportunities and development policy initiatives overlap. Read More
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