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India rediscovers spice route amid global hunt for immunity boosters

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Indians spice it up

The Covid 19 pandemic has had a direct impact on the estimated $12 billion global spice market. Demand for spices-- few of them such as turmeric, pepper, cinnamon, clove, cumin among others, known to be immunity boosters—has spiked. And China, which is one of the largest producers of spices, has turned out to be one of the biggest markets for India.

According to India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF), India’s total spice exports for the financial year 2020-21stood at $4 billion compared to about $3.6 billion in 2019-20.    “Today, Indian spices are the most sought-after globally, given their exquisite aroma, texture, taste and medicinal value,” it said, adding that India has the largest domestic market for spices in the world.                             

The India spices market grew at a CAGR of 15 per cent during 2015-2020, IMARC, market research company, said.

Also read: Indian chillies spice up China's kitchens, of course with a bowl of rice

Among all the spices, exports of Indian chillies have shot up.

India’s total exports of red chillies – of various kinds – stood at about 6,01,500 tonnes.

Produce Report, a Chinese news portal for exporters, importers and retailer, pointed out that global trade in chili peppers was worth nearly $30 billion in 2017, greater than that for coffee or tea.

Chillies are required not only for daily food and diet, they also form a key ingredient for several pharmaceutical products.

In July, for the first time a 250 kg consignment of Bhoot Jolokia or “Raja Mircha” – the hottest chillies in the world, from Nagaland reached London. “In a major boost to exports of Geographical Indications (GI) products from the north-eastern region, a consignment of ‘Raja Mircha’ also referred as king chilli from Nagaland was today exported to London via Guwahati by air for the first time,” a statement by the Press Information Bureau said.