The land of spice is a common name for India that has made a remarkable position in the world spice trade known for its flavor and aroma in domestic as well as international markets. Out of 109 spices listed by the International Organization for Standardization, India produces 75 and is regarded as one of the largest producers, consumers & exporter globally.

In recent years India is losing its ground as the top manufacturer of pepper to Vietnam, which started selling the spice for half the price dominating the world market. Black pepper also is known as black gold, and all the other varieties are now grown widely in many parts of the world, such as Indonesia & Brazil, weakening competitive edge in India.

In the past few years, exports from the Indian market has dropped by 40% as the spice from other countries have become cheaper.

Vietnam has gone through a swift transformation in becoming worlds leading black pepper exporter and is likely to become a more important player in the coming future. According to the IPC (International Pepper Community) area under the cultivation of pepper in India has decreased over the years on the flip side, it has increased in other growing countries. And the aftermath of this is the production coming down. Vietnam has also regarded the highest productivity with more than 2 mt of pepper per hectare annually and in more areas with 10 mt.

Several factors have favored other countries to take over the market, such as production is dependent on climate in India, availability of cheap workforce in Vietnam. In recent times illegal import of the spice is also increasing.

The price of pepper in other parts of the world is regulated by international demand & supply. At the same time, in India, it is mostly dependent on the domestic market as the country itself consumes a whole lot of its production, which is more than it ever exports. To cater command of the Indian population has been the most priority over internationally transporting.

Pepper plant originated in India and was planted in Vietnam in the 17th century, and it exported in abundance with annual growth of 10% since the last decade.

Prices are lower in other countries because of more production compared to India, and domestic demand is on the continuous rise. Still, there are few measures India can take to bounce back in the world market, such as identification of the new area for proper cultivation, prompting better farming techniques, ultimately increasing the production to carter both domestic as well as international demand.

How historical 'Land of Spices' still holding up?