In recent times, decline in the domestic pepper price due to cheaper import of pepper from other origins has been a major concern among pepper growers. Pepper prices have gone down by nearly 35 per cent in one year and have resulted in a lot of hardship for pepper growers.
Since most of the pepper-producing countries are in the ASEAN region, there have also been apprehensions of pepper from these countries, being routed through Sri Lanka taking advantage of lower duty under SAFTA and ISLFTA, for availing concessional import duty. Farmers’ associations have demanded taking of stringent measures including fixing of Minimum Import Price (MIP) for pepper to prevent cheaper imports of pepper into the country from other origins.
Fixing of Minimum Import Price will help in improving the domestic price particularly when the harvesting season of pepper is fast approaching.