The spice industry should focus on reaching $10 billion in exports by the end of the decade, Union Minister for Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal said on Saturday. The minister stated that the industry should work collectively to explore fresh markets and boost the existing ones with a new focus on value-added products.
Addressing the World Spice Congress, Goyal added, “Currently our total exports of spices is at USD 4 billion. Rather than exporting spice in the raw form only, we should look for value-added products as we go forward. We should start building up more markets by exploring new markets and strengthening the existing ones. We should look at creating factories for value-added products to reach USD 10 billion exports by 2030 for the spices sector,” as reported by PTI.
The minister elaborated that demand for turmeric grew significantly during the Covid-19 pandemic due to the medicinal properties of the spice and with regards to exports, the spice has the capability to reach $2 billion. “If we focus all our energy on tumeric by developing value-added products, turmeric exports alone have the potential to touch USD 2 billion,” he said.
Goyal called for the creation of a ‘Bharat’ brand or a certification indicating high quality and premium products. He added, “ Let’s create a ‘Bharat’ brand or some certification that can help in associating high quality spices products to the country. Don’t export any sub-standard products that can harm the image of the country. The industry should focus on innovation, productivity, sustainability and exclusivity and market spices as a premium product when it goes to the world market.”
The minister highlighted the role Indians living abroad can play in developing the spice industry. He said, “Over 35 million (or 3.5 crore) people of Indian origin are living overseas, who can themselves add a lot of value to the spice business. Indian diaspora living overseas can help in expanding spice consumption to other communities. In fact, they can become your brand ambassadors and help the industry to grow its market internationally.”
The commerce minister lauded the Spices Board for conducting the Spice Congress meeting after a gap of seven years and urged the board to organise a world-class exposition, symposium, and conference on the industry in New Delhi in 2024. The minister called on the board to invite international players and buyers for the World Spice Congress in 2024 and make it an annual event to help the domestic spice industry capture the global market.
Goyal hailed India as the biggest producer and consumer of spices and said, “We should also encourage other countries to increase their spices consumption. We have a lot to offer, whether it is saffron from Kashmir or Kerala’s unmatched black pepper, Gujarat’s ginger, or Nagaland’s chili, there is so much that India has to offer to the rest of the world. We should work to make India the preferred source of spices.”