Spices Board has said that organic spice cultivation would be a priority in the 12th Five Year Plan programmes to be submitted to the government.
According to Spices Board chairman A Jayathilak, the spices body will set up a laboratory for testing organic input and output at the Indian Cardamom Research Institute in Myladumpara in Idukki district during the first year of the 12th Plan commencing next year.
Spices producer companies would also be formed, besides setting up a research and demonstration plot for organic farming in cardamom.
Addressing a meeting of the stakeholders of organic spice industry at Myladumpara, Jayathilak promised support for organic farmers to gain experience through exposure visits to the farms of elite farms in various states.
In order to suggest modalities for promoting organic production and marketing of cardamom, a committee consisting of organic growers, organic groups, scientists and development officers has been formed. The chairman also launched the personal accident insurance scheme initiated by the Spices Board for the cardamom growers and workers.
Organic farming experts Narayana Reddy from Bangalore and Sundarama Iyer from Sathyamangalam asked farmers to start practising simplicity in life to achieve the ideal results in organic cultivation.
The importance of cattle rearing and maximum use of cowdung and urine were stressed. Fr Sabu John of Peermade Development Society, NM Kurian of Highrange Organic Producers Society, Adimali, PC Joseph and Chandrakanth Misra, general manager of Cholamandalam Insurance Company, also spoke.
Earlier, the Spices Board chairman met the representative of the cardamom growers' associations, trades and auctioneers and promised to take action in implementing programmes to sustain cardamom prices.