The Commerce Ministry has approved the proposal of the Spices Board for
fixing the CIF value of Rs.500/-per kg as Minimum Import Price for pepper to
protect the interests of pepper growers.
In recent times, decline in the domestic pepper price due to cheaper import
of pepper from other origins has been a major concern among pepper growers.
Pepper prices have gone down by nearly 35 per cent in one year and have resulted
in a lot of hardship for pepper growers.
Since most of the pepper-producing countries are in the ASEAN region, there
have also been apprehensions of pepper from these countries, being routed
through Sri Lanka taking advantage of lower duty under SAFTA and ISLFTA, for
availing concessional import duty. Farmers' associations have demanded taking
of stringent measures including fixing of Minimum Import Price (MIP) for pepper
to prevent cheaper imports of pepper into the country from other origins.
Fixing of Minimum Import Price will help in improving the domestic price
particularly when the harvesting season of pepper is fast approaching.