Low cardamom price still higher than cost of production

Research shows that the price farmers fetch for cardamom is about 20-30 percent more than the cost of production, agriculture minister Yeshey Dorji said.

Lyonpo said this in response to a query from Dophuchen-Tading MP, Tek Bahadur Subba on the decreasing price of cardamom at the National Assembly’s question hour on November 28.

The MP said that the price of cardamom in the market started dropping about three years ago and that except for four dzongkhags, cardamom is cultivated across the country.

Agriculture minister Yeshey Dorji said it would not be possible to fetch good price every year. “When we conducted a study, it was found that, the current price of cardamom is higher than 20-40 percent of the cost of production.”

He said that the average cost of production is Nu 292 a kilogram while farmers receive about Nu 580 a kilogram today. In 2015, the spice fetched Nu 1,112 a kg and Nu 1,600 a kg in 2014.

Lyonpo Yeshey Dorji said that the quality of cardamom was also affected due to drying process. “To improvise drying process of cardamom, about 200 drying units have been provided,” he said.

With the market expanding in India and cardamom being cultivated in both the countries, the market price is affected, he said.

The MP also questioned on the possibilities of exporting cardamom to middle-east countries besides Bangladesh and India.

Lyonpo Yeshey Dorji said that studies conducted on such possibilities found that there is no capacity to export to far-flung places like the middle-east countries. “When we consider transportation costs, the price that we get today is more profitable.”

However, he said that in countries such as Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia, the ministry is studying possibilities to export products by air.

Rinchen Zangmo

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