On Saturday, Union Minister for Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal emphasized the importance of collaboration within the spice industry to venture into untapped markets, bolster existing ones, and prioritize the development of value-added products, all with the goal of achieving $10 billion in exports by the year 2030.
“Currently our total exports of spices is at USD 4 billion. Rather than exporting spice in the raw form only, we should look for value-added products as we go forward. We should start building up more markets by exploring new markets and strengthening the existing ones. We should look at creating factories for value-added products to reach USD 10 billion exports by 2030 for the spices sector,” Goyal said addressing the World Spice Congress 2023.
Using an illustrative instance, the minister pointed out that during the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a substantial surge in demand for turmeric due to its medicinal attributes. In terms of exports, it possesses the potential to attain a remarkable $2 billion.
“If we focus all our energy on tumeric by developing value-added products, turmeric exports alone have the potential to touch USD 2 billion,” he added.
Additionally, the minister proposed the establishment of ‘Bharat’ as a distinguished brand or certification symbolizing top-tier quality and premium spice products.
“Let’s create a ‘Bharat’ brand or some certification that can help in associating high quality spices products to the country. Don’t export any sub-standard products that can harm the image of the country. The industry should focus on innovation, productivity, sustainability and exclusivity and market spices as a premium product when it goes to the world market,” Goyal said.
Furthermore, Goyal emphasized that there are more than 35 million (or 3.5 crore) individuals of Indian origin residing abroad who possess the potential to significantly contribute to the spice industry.
“Indian diaspora living overseas can help in expanding the spice consumption to others communities. In fact they can become your brand ambassadors and help the industry to grow its market internationally,” he stated.
The minister extended his congratulations to the Spices Board for hosting the Spice Congress after a gap of 7 years. He also urged them to arrange a world-class exposition, symposium, and conference for the spice industry in Delhi in 2024. This event would invite participation from all industry stakeholders, both domestic and international, including competitors and buyers, with the aim of garnering global attention and recognition.
“Spices represent the rich cultural heritage of our country. Therefore, the industry should invite all its competition and buyers from all over the world in larger numbers in the 2024 edition of the World Spice Congress and also make it into an annual event,” he added.
The minister stressed that the spices industry should seize this moment and take additional steps to secure a prominent position in the global market.
“As the biggest producer and consumer of spices, we should also encourage other countries to increase their spices consumption. We have a lot to offer, whether it is saffron from Kashmir or Kerala’s unmatched black pepper, Gujarat’s ginger or Nagaland’s chili, there is so much that India has to offer to the rest of the world. We should work to make India the preferred source of spices,” Goyal added.