Trilochan Mohapatra, Secretary, Department of Agricultural Research and Education, and Director General, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), opened the four-day international symposium on spices, Symsac X, on Tuesday.
Inaugurating the virtual event, Dr. Mohapatra stressed the importance of spices in preventing infections and respiratory issues, citing recent studies.
Spice production in the country along with the production of other horticultural crops is witnessing steady increase, and the country is producing around 9 million tonnes of spices annually, said Dr. Mohapatra.
He also appreciated the research and development activities in the spices sector. He said the export of spices had been earning India more than $3 billion. Citing international research papers, Dr. Mohapatra said the COVID-19 infection rate was lower in countries where consumption of spices is high.
Participants in the symposium can share their expertise to help India prepare better for cultivation, marketing and export of spices, he added.
Dr. Vikramaditya Pandey, Assistant Director General (HS-I), ICAR, New Delhi, presided over the programme, which is hosted by the Indian Society for Spices.