The central government is expected to soon take a decision on the demand to scrap the minimum import price (MIP) of Rs 500 per kg which was imposed at the behest of farmers in Karnataka, the largest pepper producer, so hope value-added pepper exporters.
Making their point clear, Karnataka’s farmers had argued that large-scale imports of pepper were pushing down prices of the commodity. Even after MIP was introduced in December last year, value-added pepper exporters, who import cheaper pepper for value addition and then export the commodity , had continued to import below the MIP by paying fines.
Exporters said that pepper from Vietnam is available at about Rs 190 per kg while in the local market it is selling at Rs 360-375 per kg.
But with the Centre banning imports below MIP, value-added exports have almost died down since March. The exporters’ association had approached the Commerce Ministry demanding withdrawal of MIP. As per the request of the Ministry, the association had taken up the matter through the Spices Board as well, reports said.