ICAR-All India Coordinated Research Project on Spices

“Spicing up the Nation’s Progress”

ICAR-All India Coordinated Research Project on Spices (AICRPS), located at ICAR-Indian Institute of Spices Research, Kozhikode, Kerala has 38 centers (19 regular centers, 11 co-opting centers and 8 voluntary centers) representing 14 agro-climatic regions in 24 states including North Eastern States and Tribal areas. ICAR-AICRPS plays an important role in the development of varieties suitable to different agro-climatic regions and address the problems faced by the farming community on crop diseases, crop management practices during adverse and aberrant weather conditions. Presently, ICAR-AICRPS is working on 17 mandate crops viz., black pepper, small cardamom, large cardamom, ginger, turmeric, nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, coriander, cumin, fennel, fenugreek,  ajwain, nigella, saffron, kalazeera and mango ginger.

Germplasm wealth- enrichment and conservation

Collection and conservation of genetic resources of spices is the major mandate of ICAR-AICRPS. As India is the hot spot of genetic diversity of spices, surveys were conducted in various spice growing belts of the country. A large number of germplasm of about 8500 accessions has been conserved in 12 crops namely, black pepper (825 accessions), cardamom (309 accessions), large cardamom (313 accessions), ginger (633 accessions), turmeric (1569 accessions), clove (30 accessions), nutmeg (122 accessions), cinnamon and cassia (37 accessions), coriander (1690 accessions), cumin (653 accessions), fennel (847 accessions) and fenugreek (1398 accessions) at various centres of ICAR-AICRPS.

Improved varieties of spices for increasing farmer’s income

ICAR-AICRPS has evolved 169 spice varieties that have markedly impacted spice production in the country. The first hybrid variety of black pepper, Panniyur 1, developed and popularized through Panniyur center of ICAR-AICRPS is still the dominant cultivar not only in India but also worldwide. Development of high quality varieties paved way for quality upgradation of spices. Climate resilient varieties of turmeric viz., IISR Pragati (short duration variety overcoming drought) and NDH98 (saline tolerant, stable yield across the country), ginger variety-IISR Mahima (nematode tolerant), cumin variety-GC4 (wilt tolerant), dual purpose varieties of coriander and determinate types of fenugreek (suitable for mechanized harvesting) played an important role in increasing the income of farmers.

Technologies for crop production and plant health management

ICAR-AICRPS has developed 176 crop wise technologies for varietal improvement, nutrient availability and plant health management in various spice crops. These technologies popularized through demonstrations are adopted by the concerned states and propagated through various state agricultural departments.

The technology of rapid multiplication in ginger and turmeric through single node protray method which needs only 1/4th of the actual requirement of seed and saves huge amount of planting materials is being adopted in major ginger and turmeric growing parts of the country.

In the aspect of ‘More Crop Per Drop’, ICAR-AICRPS has developed micro irrigation technology for black pepper, cardamom, turmeric, coriander, fennel and fenugreek.

Organic production technologies, good agriculture practices (GAP) and sustainable agriculture practices (SAP) were developed for spices to minimize pesticide residues and to ensure food safe spice production.

Seed coating technology in seed spices using plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) viz., FK 14 and FL 18 isolates results in increased yield (10-30%), enhanced seed germination, improved quality and reduced storage pests of seed spices.

An eco-friendly way to manage Phytophthora foot rot of black pepper in water logged arecanut gardens by grafting black pepper on Phytophthora resistant root stock (Piper colubrinum), management of rhizome rot of ginger by biofumigation (incorporation of crop residues of mustard  and  cabbage in  soil) and cost effective method for controlling powdery mildew of coriander (using neem seed kernel extract, NSKE) ensure sustainable spice production.

Tribal welfare- Reaching the unreached

ICAR-AICRPS technologies have also percolated to the remote and inaccessible tribal lands of Chintapalle in Andhra Pradesh, Pottangi in Odisha, Raigarh in Chhattisgarh and NE states providing employment opportunities (especially to women) and uplifting the economic status of farmers by supplying quality planting materials and giving training programmeson high production technologies. Also, expanded the production of spices especially turmeric, ginger and black pepper in their nontraditional areas of cultivation.

North East- Exploring the unexplored

ICAR-AICRPS works for the development of North Eastern region through its seven centers located in six NE states catering the research on crops like black pepper, ginger, turmeric and large cardamom. Organic production packages of large cardamom for North East and Large cardamom Guide has been published in collaboration with Spices Board to cater to the needs of large cardamom growers.


In tune with the Hon’ble Prime Minister’s special objective of Digital India, the documents were digitized and made available in ICAR-AICRPS website. AICRPS employs web based online reporting, monitoring and information dissemination system.