International Pepper Community moots for national projects to improve spice yield amidst climate change

Mysuru, Nov 24: The 43rd annual session of International Pepper Community (IPC) today made a strong case for introducing new projects aiming at better yield of black pepper despite adverse conditions caused by the climatic change.

Making a presentation at the ongoing three-day IPC annual session, Dr Anand Raj,  Director of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), Kozhikode,  said the increasing temperature and scanty rainfall had led to a decrease in pepper production across the world.

“India is probably the worst-hit in pepper production due to climate change when compared with other major pepper producing countries. Temperature rise of 2.5 degree Celsius is likely to reduce the photosynthetic rate. This will result in reduction in pepper produce in the country when compared to last year bumper production of 65,000 tonnes,” he said, adding: “It is imperative for us to take precautions for the sustainable productivity and quality by foreseeing the adversities.”

He also noted that the global temperature would rise further by 1.4 degree Celsius to 5.8 degree Celsius by 2100.

The global meet pitched for projects in which Spices Board of India will associate with the state governments and Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH) for better black pepper yield.  

Ms Selvieana from Indonesia spoke about the prospects and challenges her country is facing in pepper cultivation and the need for addressing quality-related issues. 

Mr. Mohan Alvares of India explained the activities of Black Gold League (BGL), an association of pepper growers on the adoption and sharing the knowledge among the planters. In his presentation, he also highlighted the use of compost and integrated nutrient and pest management.

Mr. Juliano Camera from Brazil highlighted sustainability of pepper production in Brazil. “Due to high price, new farmers are taking up the pepper cultivation. The cost of production is high and almost 40 per cent cost is on harvesting,” he said.

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