Adding organic cardamom in its kitty, Kerala Forest Development Corporation (KFDC) is exploring new avenues to sell the spices it produces in domestic and foreign markets.
“We have taken up the e-commerce route to market the organic cardamom cultivated in the forest lands of Munnar, Gavi and Nelliampathy divisions for which a new packaging design has been made”, Prakriti Srivastava, Managing Director, KFDC said.
Currently, the production of this wild-life friendly organic stuff is around six tonnes and the company intends to market it under the brand name Vanopahar. With more takers for environment-friendly products, KFDC plans to sell all its products such as black pepper, tea through Amazon, FlipKart etc.
“The market expansion will go a long way in enhancing the livelihood of forest communities residing in the KFDC locations. It will help us to overcome the innate challenges in gaining access to a countrywide market and ensure better income for the beneficiary communities”, she told BusinessLine.
Tribal workers and people who were repatriated from Sri Lanka earlier under the Shastri-Srimavo pact are engaged in organic cultivation with the technical support given by Indian Cardamom Research Institute (ICRI) and scientific inputs from Kerala Forest Research Institute.
ICRI has provided a package for organic cultivation by offering high yielding tillers for planting besides organic pesticides and fungicides. The training and marketing support and assistance for obtaining organic certification will be facilitated by ICRI soon, she said.
The process for wildlife friendly certification is in its final stage, which will help in projecting the strong conservation measures adopted even while cultivating products. This will also help in obtaining a better market price for the product. KFDC has stopped application of all chemical pesticides, fertilizers in all plantations activities for cash crops such as cardamom, coffee and pepper.
“We are also going ahead with a proposal to set up a green tea producing unit at Mananthavady in Wayanad,” she said, adding that online sale of more forest products such as coffee beans and sandalwood will be launched soon”, she said.
A proposal for scientific honey bee keeping was submitted to the Agriculture Department to enhance the livelihood of the communities and women empowerment of the KFDC communities in Gavi and Mananthavady.
KFDC has also plans to take up 266 hectares of new plantations (plantings and coppice) in the current year in which teak, bamboo, Melia dubia and other indigenous species will be planted. At present, the corporation cultivates cash crops in 2,000 hectares and another 7,000 hectares for eucalyptus, acacia, teak, allanthus etc.
June 02, 2022