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Vanilla buyers eyeing Indian crop

Aravindan

KOTTAYAM, July 25

WITH the international prices for vanilla firming up to reach new heights, major international buyers are concentrating on India and Uganda.

The international company Danisco, leader in food ingredients, has directed their team of experts to visit India and Uganda to review vanilla crop situation.

The company is reported to have sent specialists also to Uganda to work with European Union in achieving organic status for vanilla. European demand for organic vanilla is growing with Germany identified as a key market.

Danisco has reported that the tropical storms and the Presidential election in Madagascar were instrumental for the steep fall in prices for vanilla.

The prices for vanilla have been reported five times more than before the storms in the region.

It has been reported that farmers are resorting to plucking immature vanilla beans to meet the heavy market demand. This tendency has however reduced the yield and quality of the crop.

While this is the situation in Madagascar, which contributes to over 50 per cent of the total vanilla production in the world, the case is no different in countries like Indonesia which has a share of over 10 per cent of the world vanilla market.

Export prices have steadily climbed up while yield and quality declined due to the harvest of immature beans. Danisco is reported to be looking for new vanilla growing regions.

Organic vanilla is now a new product range much in demand in so many countries.

It is estimated that there are varied uses for organic vanilla all over the world. For extraction alone 20 to 30 metric tonnes is required.

The immense potential for vanilla cultivation in India is still left unexploited though there are attempts to bring more areas under vanilla cultivation.

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