Kochi, May 14 (IANS) The foundation stone for a mint spices park in Rae Bareli, the parliamentary constituency of Congress chief Sonia Gandhi in Uttar Pradesh, will be laid by Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi Wednesday, an official said here.
The new park, set up by the Spices Board of India, will boost the production, processing, value addition and exports of mint and mint products and will be a boon to the mint farmers of the country, an official statement said. The Board has its headquarters here in Kerala.
The state-of-the-art Spice Park is being set up in an area of 11.79 acres in Sadar Tehsil, Rae Bareli district with an initial investment of Rs.19 crore.
Of the total 36,500 tonnes of mint that is produced in the country, 35,500 tonnes comes from Uttar Pradesh.
Mint and mint products from the variety Mentha Arvensis (Japanese mint) will get special attention at the park, for processing and value addition.
Spices Board Chairman A. Jayathilak said exports of mint and mint products contribute to 23 per cent in value terms of the total spices exports from India, earning a total revenue of Rs.2,224.00 crore in 2011-12.
As the new spice park is being set up in Rae Bareli, it is expected that high end processing and value addition of mint will shoot up and this would play a vital part in the total spice exports.
The Spices Board has already set up crop-specific Spices Parks at Chhindwara, Madhya Pradesh, for garlic and spice extracts, Puttady, Kerala, for cardamom and pepper, Jodhpur, Rajasthan, for cumin and coriander and Guna, Madhya Pradesh, for seed spices.
Spices Parks at Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, for chillies and Sivaganga, Tamil Nadu, for turmeric and chillies are nearing completion. The Board is also establishing a Spices Park at Kota, Rajasthan, for coriander and cumin.
The Spices Board (under the union ministry of commerce) is the flagship organisation for the development and worldwide promotion of Indian spices. The Board is an international link between the Indian exporters and the importers abroad.