International Pepper Community meet in Mysuru from Monday

Mysuru, Nov 22 (IANS) Mysuru will host the 43rd session of the International Pepper Community (IPC) from November 23-25 to discuss and promote limited and safe use of chemicals for controlling pest and diseases in pepper, IPC said in a statement here.

This is “in the wake of growing concern over indiscriminate use of pesticides and other chemicals in the cultivation of spices worldwide”, the inter-governmental body of major pepper producing countries established under the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific said.

The IPC is currently chaired by A. Jayathilak, who is also the chairman of the Spices Board India.

“Besides receiving a number of awards for introducing innovative methods for pepper cultivation, Karnataka has recently emerged as the largest pepper producer in the country. This paved way for the selection of Mysuru as the host city for the meeting,” Jayathilak said in a statement.

Around 300 delegates from IPC member countries including Brazil, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Vietnam are expected to participate in the event.

The conference will see members deliberate on various issues, including recent advancements in pepper cultivation, processing, marketing and research.

Pepper is a significant export from India, with spice earning Rs.1,208.42 crore in 2014-15, for a volume of 21,450 tonnes. This represented a 29 percent increase over the previous year of Rs.940 crore from 21,250 tonnes, according to the Spices Board India.

India’s overall export of spices and spice products was valued at $2.43 billion in 2014-15, with the volume being 8.93 lakh tonnes, a 9 percent increase in volume and 7 percent in dollar terms at $2.26 billion, over the previous fiscal.

Kerala accounts for as much as 90 percent of the pepper grown in the country, with the rest coming from Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

The US is the world’s largest import and consumer of pepper, followed by Singapore. Other major pepper-importing countries include Germany, the Netherlands and the UAE.

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