Down in Southern regions, where spices are in plenty and is even exported to other states and countries, there is a need to establish testing laboratory for impurities. Karnataka State Spices Development Board (KSSDB) has proposed to set up a state-of-the-art quality control and testing laboratory for spices in the State. Chairperson of KSSDB Shashikala Kavali in a meet said that Rs.150 crore proposal has been submitted to the government for this purpose. The proposed quality control and testing laboratory would be modelled along the lines of the one set by the Spice Board of India in Kochi that includes set up of processing centres for pepper, cardamom and turmeric.
The state of Karnataka is the only Southern state to have its own spice development board. Although several varieties of spice are grown here, the farmers depend on middlemen to market them. Karnataka has set the target to facilitate a direct marketing link between the producers and exporters. The inaugural session was followed by an interaction between farmers and exporters. Both groups discussed the terms and conditions for selling and buying the produce.
It was an encouraging response to see 28 exporters and 150 farmers participate in the meeting. Director of Spice Board of India, S. Siddaramappa appreciated the Karnataka government’s move to promote spice cultivation. “Though spice is cultivated in different States, not all have set up such boards exclusively to promote spice cultivation. Spice Board of India will extend all possible help to the State Board,” he said.