Spice sector stakeholders convened to boost market linkage from Meghalaya

IDH and the Government of Meghalaya, India hosted a Market Linkage Platform meeting for spices produced in Meghalaya on May 18-19, 2021.

The meeting, facilitated under the State government’s Meghalaya on Meghalaya Livelihood and Access to Market Project (MeghaLAMP), brought together private sector players, farmer cooperatives and Farmer Producer Organization to discuss ginger, turmeric, and black pepper value chains in the State.

The platform meeting received an overwhelming response from industry stakeholders with over 100 participants, representing leading spice sector private players from ground spices and extraction businesses, ingredient-based businesses, and exporters supplying to Netherlands, USA, and EU markets.

Discussions during the meeting covered issues in the sustainable spices sourcing from Meghalaya, experiences of private sector players, key opportunities, and strategic approach to address the existing gaps.

It was noted that there is a lack of consistency in quality and processed products, and there is also a post-harvest deterioration of the produce due to improper storage and packaging. It was agreed that a single platform or service provider to carry out centralized aggregation, grading, primary processing, packaging, and handle off-take facility to formal sector players, is needed.

Further, it was also agreed that a basic quality testing lab for chemical tests of Spices, access to quality inputs and advisory and technical support to farmers, along with traceability and verification is required to strengthen the spice supply chain in Meghalaya.

Commenting on the initiative, Saurabh Sinha, Senior Manager at IDH, said “IDH has partnered with IFAD and MBMA on the MeghaLAMP project with a view to establishing long-term and sustainable market linkages with the private sector spice companies.  We aim to convene the public and private sector organizations through such platform meetings to develop effective partnerships, which would enable sustainable market linkages for the participating farmers.”

Private sector players from the spices sector appreciated this initiative. Sharing his thoughts, Ram Kumar Wariyar, G.M. Operations – Synthite, said, “We have been sourcing from Meghalaya for the past seven years and it has provided good volumes and quality in spices. Through the Market Linkage Platform, we are keen on working with farmer cooperatives and FPOs for turmeric, ginger, and black pepper.”

Mathew Jacob, Head – Agribusiness at Mane Kancor, said, “Being in an extraction business, we have a high demand for volumes of spices procured to extract curcumin, piperine, and gingerol. Going forward, we are keen to explore local as well as commercial varieties being grown in Meghalaya.”

Next steps

Several private-sector spices players and exporters have indicated an interest to procure from Meghalaya. As an immediate next step, IDH and the Government of Meghalaya plan will have targeted discussion with them.

Further, the Market Linkage Platform is also working on a plan to create access to input material, technical advisory support, quality testing, and upgrading basic quality processing and storage infrastructure within Meghalaya to facilitate formal sector spice market linkages.

About the project

MeghaLAMP is an externally aided project of the Government of Meghalaya to improve family incomes and the quality of life in rural Meghalaya. The project is partly supported by the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) and implemented by the Meghalaya Basin Management Agency (MBMA). IDH has partnered with the project to build a market-linkage platform for ginger, pepper, and turmeric grown in the state.