Development of Spices
Spice crops occupy a predominant position in the agricultural economy of the state. Apart from foreign exchange earnings, organic spices, value added spices like oils and oleoresins are assuming significance. On the production side low yield, damage to standards, crop loss due to pests and diseases, post-harvest losses and fluctuating prices are causing declining area and production of spices in the State. Revival of production of spices is essential to improve the livelihood of people as well as to improve foreign exchange earnings. A pepper rehabilitation programme including the components, viz. Decentralised pepper nurseries, establishment of new pepper gardens, and revitalization of existing gardens, integrated pepper development in Idukki, assistance for area expansion, promotion of Vesicular Arbuscular Mycorrhiza (VAM), farmers varieties, grafts, soil less nursery, support to secondary and micro nutrients, soil ameliorants, prophylactic spraying through agro service centres and revitalization of pepper samithies are envisaged. Area expansion of ginger, turmeric, pure/ inter cropping of nutmeg and clove is also included under the programme. An amount of Rs.15.00 lakh is set apart for providing project based support for the establishment of nurseries for development of planting materials of pepper using orthotropic shoots and grafts with the technical guidance of Indian Institute of Spices Research (IISR/KAU). The outlay under Wayanad package will be integrated with the comprehensive project. The services of the agroservice centres in the pepper growing areas will be integrated with the project. Setting up of biopharmacies will be encouraged through pepper samithies/agroservice centres/federated organisations/Karshika Karma Senas. An amount of Rs.500.00 lakh will be utilized in Idukki district, for developing pepper. An amount of Rs.200.00 lakh is earmarked for establishment of value addition units of spices.