International meet to discuss safe use of chemicals in pepper cultivation

43rd annual session of International Pepper Community will be hosted by Mysuru from Nov 23 to 25

Mysuru, Nov 21: In the wake of growing concern over indiscriminate use of pesticides and other chemicals in the cultivation of spices worldwide, the International Pepper Community (IPC), an inter-governmental body of major pepper producing countries established under the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), will meet here to discuss and promote limited and safe use of chemicals for controlling pest and diseases in pepper.

Around 300 delegates from IPC member countries including Brazil, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Vietnam are expected to participate in the event, which will be held at Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel Mysuru from November 23 to 25. The three-day meeting will deliberate on the recent advancements in pepper cultivation, production, processing, marketing, quality improvement, research and development as well as trade promotion.

“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,” said IPC Chairman Dr A Jayathilak, who is also the Chairman of the Spices Board.

The ‘Business Session’ on the inaugural day will be attended by representatives of IPC member countries, who will discuss issues related trade promotion and marketing.

The 40th ‘Peppertech Meeting’, which will be held on the second day of the IPC meeting, will focus on two major themes – ‘Controlling Pest and Diseases through Safe Use of Chemicals in Integrated Pests and Disease Management’ and ‘Promoting the Mechanization for Pepper Processing at Pepper Farmers or Farmer Groups in Pepper Growing Areas’.

The ‘Pepperexim Meeting’ on the third day will be a gathering of producers, exporters, importers, traders and grinders who will work out a plan to expedite exchange of information and establish a forum for dialogue between the pepper producing and consuming countries.

During the meet, the member countries will also explore the possibility of mutual exchange of pepper between leading producers of the spice, besides hashing out pepper production and export targets for the coming year.

The IPC was founded in 1972 with its Secretariat at Jakarta, Indonesia, with an aim to promote, co-ordinate and harmonize all activities relating to the pepper economy.

India currently holds the chair of IPC, which rotates among its full-time members every year. India, Indonesia and Malaysia are the founder members of IPC. The organisation has Brazil, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Vietnam as its full members and Papua New Guinea as an associate member. China, Cambodia and Madagascar are expected to join the community in near future.

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