While inaugurating the three-day International Spices and Vegetable fest in Rishikesh on Tuesday, agriculture minister Subodh Uniyal announced that Uttarakhand will be branding its own spices and vegetables. “We are pioneers in the cultivation of ginger, red chili, turmeric, cardamom, and garlic. Similarly, we are producing a huge amount of vegetables every year, which are sent out to other countries and states without our brand. We have therefore decided to use the ‘Himalayan’ prefix next to every product of ours. This will give an identity to our products and can also fetch us good prices at international markets,” Uniyal said.

Notably, Uttarakhand is among the frontrunners in producing spices, with 6.62 metric tonnes of spices being produced across one hectare of land. Overall, the state produces 96,282 metric tonnes of spices across 14,536 hectares, according to the agriculture department’s 2019-2020 data. The hill state is among the leading producers of seven spices — turmeric, garlic, chilly, coriander, fenugreek, ginger and black cardamom.

HS Baweja, director, Uttarakhand horticulture department, said, “We will have a centre of excellence in Tehri for ginger, another one in Pithoragarh for turmeric, and one for chillies in Salt (Almora). In terms of productivity in spices, Uttarakhand is at the top position in the country. Now, we will help farmers sell their products in a way that gets them more profits.”
The fest is being attended by stakeholders from several countries — like Russia, Australia, America, Singapore and others. While some will attend the event virtually, others have come to Rishikesh for the fest. (TOI)