This Ramadan season, Indian small cardamom is expected to hit the Saudi market with an added assurance of compliance with food safety parameters.

Small cardamom from India, owing to its rich intrinsic qualities, had found a major place in the kitchens of a West Asia, with a consistent share of over 50 per cent in export quantity and value making it the leading export destination.Get access to premium Portfolio content for 14 daysStart my free trial

However, the introduction of a multitude of checks on consignments by the Saudi authorities had led to procedural hurdles and detention of export consignments from India, which affected the trade between the countries.

Starting May 5, export consignments to Saudi Arabia will be tested in Spices Board’s Quality Evaluation Laboratories at Kochi and Mumbai for residues of six chemicals and the cleared consignments will be permitted for exports. The testing protocol will help to improve the turnaround time for exports and to overcome the procedural hurdles, thereby enabling a free flow of exports of small cardamom to Saudi Arabia.

“Hassle-free exports to Saudi Arabia during the peak Ramadan season is expected to revitalise the Indian small cardamom sector, wherein activities at production, post-harvest improvement, marketing, etc, currently are affected by the Covid-19 restrictions. A surge in export demand will also help to facilitate better price realisation by the growers as well,” D Sathiyan, Secretary, Spices Board, said.

“Further the Board will continue its efforts such as capacity building on good practices through campaigns, training and other awareness programmes, promoting Integrated Pest Management and use of biocontrol agents, facilitating collaborative movements amongst growers through Spices Producer Societies, R&D support, strengthening direct linkages with exporters, etc, across the various stages of the small cardamom supply chain, so as to promote sustainability in the sector,” he added.

Earlier, a high-level delegation comprising Spices Board officials and leading exporters had visited Riyadh, to work out a solution for the concerns impacting small cardamom trade.

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