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Oct, 03 2015

Spices Board set up testing Lab at Kandla port

\"To meet the global standards of seed spices being exported from Gujarat, the board has decided to set up a testing lab at Kandla port at a cost of Rs 15 crore. Six such laboratories are already functioning across the country, including at Mumbai, Cochin

To ensure quality and purity of seed spices such as cumin and coriander, exported in large quantities from Gujarat, Spices Board has decided to set up a testing laboratory at Kandla port in Kutch. The announcement was made by Spices Board chairman Dr A Jayathilak, reported by PTI.

"To meet the global standards of seed spices being exported from Gujarat, the board has decided to set up a testing lab at Kandla port at a cost of Rs 15 crore. Six such laboratories are already functioning across the country, including at Mumbai, Cochin, Delhi and Chennai," Jayathilak said.

Gujarat is a leading state in producing and exporting seed spices such as cumin, coriander, fennel and fenugreek, according to him. However, quality of these spices remains a major cause of concern.

"Quality of Indian spices is a key issue for us. In 2014, sixteen consignments of our spices were returned by Europe for sub-standard quality. That number was 180 in 2011. In my opinion, if our exporters maintain quality, then we can easily capture 100 per cent of world's market" claimed Jayathilak.

As per the facts provided by the Board, out of the total production of spices in India last year, 15 per cent is exported, which accounts for 48 per cent in volume and 43 per cent in value of the world spice market.

In cumin production and exports, Unjha spices market in north Gujarat holds monopoly in India.

Bhaskar Shah, Vice Chairman of Spices Board said that cumin from Unjha caters to 90 per cent of world's total consumption, whereas the second spot goes to Syria, which produces cumin only for exports.

"In 2013-14, cumin export from India (Unjha) was around 50,000 tonnes, which suddenly shot up to 1.5 lakh tonnes last year. It was mainly because Syria failed to export due to the ISIS crisis. Now, to maintain that lead, Indian exporters have to work hard on quality," said Shah.

He further added, "I have to admit that Indian exporters are not very keen to maintain quality. Thus, it is possible that Syria may bounce back and snatch that market from us as Syrian spices are way ahead of us in terms of quality. Thus, it is high time for Indian exporters to focus on quality."

Officials of the Spices Board, announced the 13th World Spice Congress to be held in Ahmedabad from February 27-29 next year. "Gujarat has been selected for the first time to hold such event, where more than 400 national and international delegates are expected to take part," Jayathilak said.

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