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Kerala Farmer Receives International Recognition

Kerala pepper farmer received global recognition from the International Pepper community.

Shivani Meena
International Pepper community
International Pepper community

The International Pepper Community award for Jomy Mathew, who comes from Pothanikkad, near Kothamangalam, has brought international recognition to pepper farmers of India. On Saturday, the award was given away.

Mathew, speaking on the sidelines of the Spices Board's awards show, said there was a lot of potential for other spice crops in the country, including pepper, which had just experienced a setback.

Mathew is said to have cultivated roughly a hundred acres in Shimoga, Karnataka, where his main crops were pepper, rubber, arecanut, and coffee. He said that his IPC recognition came as a result of his high productivity.

In India, pepper production was 450 kg per ha, but it had reached seven tonnes. Kerala's productivity rate was even lower, at 250 kg per ha, he said. He said that the high productivity was attained on a particular piece of land and that Vietnam farmers were able to produce roughly two tonnes per hectare.

The IPC is an intergovernmental organization of pepper-producing countries that was founded in 1972 under the auspices of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN-ESCAP). Permanent members include India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam, while associate members include Papua New Guinea and the Philippines.

Even though Kerala was considered the first source of pepper, with a long history, Mathew said he was thrilled to be the first farmer from India to be recognized by the IPC.

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