Following 2019, the cost of green cardamom has surged to reach unprecedented heights. On Tuesday, at the Spices Board of India auction centre in Puttady, Idukki, the highest average price of ₹2,254 per kg was recorded. Anticipated reductions in cardamom production this year are attributed to the effects of climate change and the unpredictable nature of the monsoon.
During the evening auction conducted by the Cardamom Planters Marketing Cooperative Society Limited, the highest quoted price reached ₹2,951 per kg. A sum of 72,737 kg was presented for auction, with 70,951 kg successfully finding buyers. In the earlier morning auction overseen by the Cardamom Planters’ Association, the peak price reached ₹2,890 per kg, and the mean price stood at ₹2,078 per kg. A quantity of 26,717 kg was made available for the auction, resulting in the sale of 23,325 kg. On August 3, 2019, a historic peak in cardamom prices was registered, reaching ₹7,000 per kg during an auction in Puttady. However, starting in 2020, the cardamom market underwent a reversal in its trajectory, witnessing a notable downturn that led the price to dip even below ₹1,000 per kg.
Antony Mathew, the president of the Cardamom Growers’ Association, attributed the abrupt increase in cardamom prices to the adverse impact of insufficient rainfall on production. He explained that the absence of adequate monsoon rainfall hampers the growth of new cardamom beans. He anticipates a production decline of over 70% compared to the previous year due to this year’s unfavourable weather conditions.
According to Anjo Jose, the executive director of Mass Enterprises Limited, there was an initial favourable trajectory in cardamom prices at the outset of the crop season. He emphasized the pivotal role of monsoon rain in the entire cardamom cultivation cycle, noting that the primary harvest typically enters the market between the final weeks of August and September. The extent of the actual production decline will only become apparent once the main crop arrives. The price surge brings a ray of hope to the farmers. “Over the last four years, cardamom growers have struggled to maintain their plantations. Adequate management necessitates a rate of around ₹2,000 per kg, considering the elevated expenses associated with pesticides, fertilizers, and labour costs,” explained the farmers.