Idukki gets its first women-led cardamom auction company

Spices Board Assistant Director, KA Anil Kumar, inaugurating the women-owned cardamom company at Puttady Spices Park in Idukki.

Spices Board Assistant Director, KA Anil Kumar, inaugurating the women-owned cardamom company at Puttady Spices Park in Idukki. , Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

A collective of women cardamom farmers has established a cardamom auction company under the auspices of the Spices Board of India – the first such company to be fully controlled by women.

The Idukki Mahila Cardamom Producer Company Limited (IMCPCL) boasts a board comprising 49 women cardamom farmers. The inaugural auction of this women-led venture took place at the Spices Park in Puttady on Saturday.

Assistant Director, Puttady Spices Park, KA Anil Kumar said 16 licensed cardamom auction companies are under the Board. “This is the first time a female cardamom farmer is controlling a cardamom auction company registered under the Board. The company’s specialty is that all 49 director board members are active cardamom farmers,” said Dr. Kumar.

“Normally, women are very underrepresented in the cardamom auction-related process. We hope the new company will help attract more women farmers to the sector,” said Dr. Kumar.

According to officials, the women-owned cardamom company is presenting good-graded cardamom in the hope that it will attract vendors during the auction. “The season’s highest price for cardamom per kg, ₹3,804, was quoted during the first auction of the women-owned cardamom company. The presence of the new company already reflects positively on the price for cardamom,” said an official.

Sujatha Bhagavathiraj, one of the company’s director board members, said that talks to float the company began in 2021 during a family meeting and it has finally come into being today. “When we approached the Spices Board to register a women-controlled cardamom auction company, the board secretary and other officials welcomed the initiative and provided all assistance in registering the company,” said Ms. Bhagavathiraj.

“We plan to introduce value-added cardamom products in the future. Our company’s motto is not to use artificial colour in cardamom and not to support using unauthorised pesticides in cardamom plantations,” she said.

The new company’s first auction was held at the Puttady Spices Park on Saturday. The average price quoted was ₹2,070 per kg. A total of 29,815 kg cardamom was on auction, and the maximum price quoted was ₹3,804 per kg. The lowest price quoted was ₹1,589.

The inauguration of the women-owned cardamom auction company was held at Puttady Spices Park and the Spices Board office at Bodinayakanur in Tamil Nadu. Mr. Anikumar inaugurated the company at Puttady, while Bank of India Madurai Zonal Manager Kishore Kumar and Spices Board Assistant Director Sentil Kumar jointly led the inauguration at Bodinayakanur.

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