Kerala accounts for major production of spices like cardamom, pepper and nutmeg. Recently we all read about the Kerala floods and its devastating impact on the state. Although the state has started recovering from the damage, people there will take time to get back to their normal and so will the industries there. Kerala is famous for its tourism, handloom, coir and spices.
Spices industry in India mainly depends on the God’s own country for 3 spices i.e. cardamom, black pepper and nutmeg. These spices are supplied PAN India from Kerala. Apart from the domestic market, Kerala also exports spices to other countries like USA, European Union, Middle East and China.
The districts Idukki and Wayanad which are centers for spice production were severely affected by the floods. As reported by Economic Times more than half the spice crop has been damaged, which lead to low supply of these spices in the market.
It’s not just limited to the damage of the crops; the transport of the stock has also come to halt as the truck movement has been stopped due to floods. As per the news 10,000 kms of roads have been destroyed during the flood.
The short-term impact of this is obvious that the rate of these spices increased by 20% to 50% in various regions of India. The prices may rise further in the festive season due to rise in demand and low supply.
The long-term effects will be much larger as we don’t know how long the state will take to get back to its normal working. There are many more questions which are unanswered and will have impact on the spices industry.
What is the condition of the farms after water clogging for so many days? How the farmers will tackle the loss incurred by the destruction of crops. What step will the government take to help them?
In Kerala harvest of cardamom starts from August or September and continues till March. So how are the farmers able to go ahead after the flood, will determine the future supply and prices of these spices in India and for export to other nations.