The objective of this chapter is to analyze the performance of the cardamom industry in terms of area, production and productivity, export prices and their inter-relationship.
In this, the movement of prices, price cycles and supply response to price variation etc.
has been considered. Finally, an attempt is also made to quantify the uncertain future using forecasting models. The following are the main findings:
1 To meet the increasing demand for cardamom in the world market, supply is also rising at a fast rate. Much of the increased supply is from Guatemala. India, while consuming more than half of the total world production, contributes hardly 2 per cent to the world market.
2 While the increase in production during the 80s was mainly due to increase in area, during the 90s the increase in production is due to improvement in productivity. However, the yield gap that exists between the potential productivity level and average achieved level of productivity in the country indicates the possibility of improving yield level considerably.
3 In the export front, country has lost most of its traditional markets to Guatemala mainly because of the incompetitive price of the Indian cardamom in the international market. Guatemala derives its price competitiveness mainly from less production cost and high productivity per unit area.
4 In the changed scenario, Japan is the steady and reliable market for Indian cardamom. Due to decline in oil prices and consequent fall in purchasing power the Middle East market has changed from quality conscious to price sensitive.
5 There is a definite pattern of cyclical fluctuation in prices mainly due to the producers' response to price by new and replanting, which will yield after a certain time lags. Thus the cyclical fluctuations in prices have an implicit bearing on the condition of supply through farmer's response.
6 Finally, the forecasted future indicates that there will be a steady increase in supply (production and yield) and the price is expected to either move up or to remain steady at the present level.
The future scenario presented here can change drastically as a result of innovative product development, diversification of some entirely new application if discovered for cardamom or its products. Imaginative product development programmes have to be initiated to boost up the consumption pattern. Attractive formulations backed up by catchy advertisements can do wonders in this field.
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