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Pepper is scientifically known as piper nigrum, belonging to the family Piperaceae.
Pepper is mainly used in cuisines thanks to its pungent smell and hot peppery taste. Piperine is the chemical behind the spicy taste of Pepper. Pepper is the most widely used spice in the world, and so it is crowned as the King of Spices.
Peppercorn or pepper has wide applications in the culinary industry where three different categories of pepper are used: black pepper (cooked and dried unripe fruit), green pepper (dried unripe fruit) and white pepper (ripe fruit seeds). Pepper has also medicinal properties.
Black pepper is the world's most traded spice.
Pepper was among the first crop cultivated in India. India accounts for about 26 percent of global pepper production. Nearly 90 percent of India’s pepper is produced in Kerala.
A good rainfall with hot and humid climate helps pepper grow well. This is the main reason why nearly 95 percent of Pepper in the world is grown in India and Vietnam.
Life of the pepper plant is about 40 years. The pepper plant starts flowering when it attains a growth of about 2 to 5 years.
May-June is the main sowing period of pepper in India and harvesting is done during December to February. The sowing and harvesting period outside India varies.
India contributes to about 20 percent of the world's pepper production. India has about 2.25 lakh hectares of area under cultivation.
Kerala tops the list for pepper-producing states in India. Other pepper producing states are Karnataka, Maharashtra, Goa, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Orissa, Assam, Tripura, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Nagaland, Manipur and Pondicherry.
The topmost pepper producing countries form part of the International Pepper Community Countries (IPC) covering Vietnam, India, China, Indonesia, Brazil and Malaysia.
Major pepper producing countries are Vietnam, Indonesia, India, Brazil, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Thailand and China.
Major pepper exporting countries are Vietnam, India, China, Indonesia and Brazil.
Indonesia, India, Vietnam, China, Peru, Mexico, Brazil, Spain, Germany and Chile are the world’s top importers of pepper.
Local trading hubs for pepper in India:
Kerala (Ernakulam, Idukki, Kannur, Kasaragod, Kollam, Kottayam, Kozhikode, Palakkad, Pathanamthitta, Thiruvananthapuram, Thrissur, Wayanad)
Karnataka (Chikkamagaluru, Kodagu , Hassan, Udupi,Shimoga, Uttara Kannada, Dakshina Kannada)
Pondicherry Union Territory (Mahe).
Pepper is traded in the commodity futures market at National Multi Commodity Exchange(NMCE) in India.
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