Amid the nationwide Coronavirus lockdown, pepper trade in Kochi has resumed this week, after Kerala government intervented in the matter. All the trade activities were on hold in the state and no transportation or trading was taking place due to the lockdown. However, after pepper trade resumed, seven tonnes of pepper stock arrived from the Idukki district on April 16.
The pepper dealers from Idukki and Wayanad districts had approached the government authorities to seek permission to open their shops.
''We expect more pepper to arrive from Wayanad and Idukki districts. It will happen when the lockdown is relaxed. The pepper dealers from Idukki and Wayanad districts had approached the authorities for permission to open their shops," said Kishore Shamji, owner of Kishore Spices at Mattancherry, Kochi.
"Earlier, we sought immediate intervention of the Kerala government to ease the scenario when the Tamil Nadu border denied the entry of vehicles. These restrictions had affected the availability of trucks for outward consignment movement from the terminal market,'' Shamji added.
Since all trades were suspended temporarily by the state government to contain the spread of virus, the pepper farmers have welcomed the resumption hoping life would get back to normalcy.
''Agriculture is the only source of income for my family. I tried to sell 15 kgs of pepper after the lockdown was announced, but nobody came to buy this. Now, I'm very glad to hear that pepper trade has resumed. I hope life will get back to normal,'' said CJ Varghese, a pepper farmer in Mattancherry, Kochi.
Presently the ungarbled pepper has a rate of Rs. 300 per kilogram, Malabar Garbled-1 variety is for Rs. 320 and new pepper is for Rs 290.