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Spices Board to resume cardamom auctions in Puttady from today

Gulf importers prefer Indian cardamom because of its quality NAGARA GOPAL NAGARA GOPAL

Suspension of auctions in Bodinayakanur to continue till month-end

The Spices Board will resume cardamom auctions in the e-auction centre at Puttady in Idukki from today (Wednesday) till March 30, consequent to the permission granted by the medical officer-in-charge, Vandanmedu.

However, the suspension of auctions in Bodinayakanur will continue till the month-end.

The medical officer has allowed the auctioneers to conduct auctions in strict compliance of precautionary measures stipulated to prevent the spread of coronavirus infection. Not more than 30 bidders will be allowed in the auction hall so as ensure one metre distance is maintained between them; seating would be restricted to alternate terminals. The auctioneers have been directed to provide sufficient masks and hand-wash for bidders and staff entrusted with conducting the e-auction.

Cardamom growers and traders in Idukki had represented to the District Collector and the District Medical Officer to allow them to conduct auctions considering the economic implications of its stoppage. According to traders, halting the auction had deprived sellers of an avenue to liquidate their stocks. More than 80 per cent of the primary market depends on auctions, which are a recognised platform for price discovery. They also ensure visibility and transparency.

The auctions will be held today afternoon and the quantity offered by the auctioneers CPMCS, Kumily, is 33 tonnes.

The Community Health Centre in Vandanmedu on Saturday had issued a directive to the Spices Board to discontinue trading activity in the e-auction centre in view of the large gathering of people. Cardamom traders in Bodinayakanur had also sought cancellation of the auctions till March 31; the District Collector, Theni, also urged the Board to cancel the auctions till the month-end.

“When the world is in the grip of a pandemic, I wonder how the authorities can allow permission to conduct auctions, especially in the presence of large gatherings?” a trader in Bodinayakanur asked.

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