September 19: The price of black cardamom has more than doubled with availability of the new harvest in the market. This year, as the production of black cardamom is expected to decline, the price has skyrocketed all of a sudden. Last year, 40 kg of black cardamom was traded at Rs 27,000, but this year the price of same quantity of cardamom has reached Rs 60,000.
Last year, the market price of JJ quality (No 1) black cardamom was Rs 27,000 per 40 kg. This year its price has reached Rs 60,000 as the production has declined. Last year, SD quality (No 2) black cardamom was traded at Rs 25,000 per 40 kg.
This year SD quality cardamom is being bought and sold at Rs 58,000 per 40 kg. Similarly, the No 3 quality cardamom was traded at Rs 23,000 per 40 kg last year, but this year the price has reached as much as Rs 56,000, the Federation of Nepal Cardamom Traders informed New Business Age.
The vice president of the federation, Subas Bhattarai, says that drought followed by hailstorms and landslides damaged some black cardamom farms in the eastern hill district during the flowering period this year, and the production is certain to decrease.
According to him, it is estimated that production of black cardamom is likely to decrease by 50 percent this year. According to data, 6,000 to 8,000 metric tons of black cardamom is produced in Nepal in an average a year. Recently, the area of production of black cardamom in Nepal is also decreasing.
Black cardamom was cultivated in 20,880 hectares of land in the fiscal year (FY) 2075/76. After not getting a good price for the product, the farmers gradually reduced its cultivation in the following years.
During the year 2076/77, the area of cardamom cultivation decreased to 16,565 hectares. In the year 2077/78, it further decreased to 15,668 hectares. In the year 2078/79, the area of cultivation of black cardamom seems to have increased somewhat. Black cardamom was cultivated in an area of 17, 015 hectares that year.
After the black cardamom produced in Nepal received the Halal certificate last year, it paved the way to export the produce to the Gulf countries.
Prior to that, export of black cardamom produced in Nepal was limited to the markets of Pakistan and India.
According to Dinesh Adhikari, a cardamom businessman, even though the door of export to the Gulf countries has opened, there is a problem in exporting due to Nepal's landlocked nature. The exporters say it takes a long time for the products to reach the destination countries. Adhikari says Nepali businessmen have not been able to benefit from black cardamom exports because of this problem. Even now, Nepali businessmen export black cardamom to India and then the Indian businessmen export it to the Gulf countries, said Adhikari.