Centre plans Indian Institute of Spice technology: Jairam

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Panaji, Jan 29 (UNI) Union Minister of state for Commerce Jairam Ramesh has said the Centre is planning to establish an Indian Institute of Spice technology to spearhead research in developing new products and new uses of spices including pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, cosmetics and products of wellness industry.

The Union Minister was speaking after inaugurating the 9th World Spice Congress, organised jointly by the Spice Board and the All India Spices Exporters forum yesterday in South Goa.

''Special focus should be given to Northeast, a group of eight states that constitute a natural zone for organic spices, but it has to be of certified organic produce according to international specifications like what we have accomplished in case of Darjeeling tea,'' he said.

''India is the largest market for Indian Spices and with an Australia being added every year to our population, the domestic market will continue to play a pivotal role. Exports of spices from India in 2007-08 are estimated at USD 875 millions'' he said.

We will soon be able to announce a new scheme for promoting the marketing of organic northeast spices in the rest of the country as a first step towards gaining markets abroad, Mr Ramesh added.

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