Rajkot, Apr 23 : India is known the world over as the 'Home of Spices', and Rajkot in Gujarat, has lent a distinct flavour, carving a niche in the export market.
Gujarat is fast emerging as the hub for spice exports and there has been an upsurge in demand for an array of condiments including turmeric, fennel seeds and cummin seeds.
"Due to various reasons like quality, Saurashtra region is exceptional in some of these commodities. Secondly, international exporters where competitor countries like China have faced a loss due to the shortfall in rain or otherwise the failure in crop that has let to a significant rise in Saurashtra's export markets for these products," said Ghanshyam Vaghasia, Managing Director, Vaghasia exports.
There has been a steep increase of 60 per cent in the exports of turmeric, fennel seeds, cummin seeds and red chilli during the last ten months.
The United States is a major market apart from South East Asian countries.
"We have been getting orders for chili, turmeric, cumin and all those spice items. US, UK and other European countries apart from South East Asian countries are also placing orders for cumin. Therefore, we can say that South East Asia is buying all these spices from us apart from US that is the main country for export," said Siddharth Adani, Adani Exports.
Demand has increased in the Middle East countries as well.
A few years back, Mumbai was one of the prime exporters, but now the scenario has shifted. Rajkot is competing with neighboring states.
Export firms have also signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOUs) with foreign companies for spice products and are planning to start organic farming especially to cater to the demand from clients who want specific seeds to be sown.
The country's annual spice exports are in the range of 250,000 tons. Surpassing this figure, the revenue garnered through export of 3,73,750 tonnes spices in 2006-07 has been rupees 3575 crores.