WSO’s Panel of Scientists - A source of technical expertise to the world


             In the picture: The silkworm that clothes the world


 We see silk in so many shades and hues that, we forget that unless artificially colored, silk under most circumstances is cream in color. Coloring silk is not only difficult, but modern-day mass production generates significant amounts of ‘toxic’ waste water – which is not-so-good on the environment.
But ecological dilemmas always have their solutions, sustainable ones at that, in SCIENCE– Headed by Natalia Tansil of the Institute of Materials Research and Engineering in Singapore, a team of researchers has, for the first time, perfected a procedure in which silkworms produce threads that are permanently coloured – feeding them colours, which is replicated in the silk threads!
Similarly, solutions to the spice industry’s challenges, harnessing the powers of science – is the dream behind the Technical Panel at the World Spice Organisation (WSO).
WSO is in the process of creating a panel of experts – agronomists, agriculturist, biotechnologists, and scientists – who will help us plan/implement sustainable agricultural programs. The expert panel will focus primarily on 10 focus spices identified - Pepper, Chilies, Paprika, Cumin, Cardamom, Ginger, Turmeric AFT, Mint and Garlic - across all areas starting from soil health, seeds program, disease resistant crops, new cultivation practices (enhancing land productivity and water use efficiency), new generation low residual pesticides/bio-fertilizers.
The key issues identified against each spice are as follows:
1.       Hot Chilies: Food safety, esp. in the areas of IPM
2.       Paprika: Non-availability
3.       Pepper: Short supply and Non-availability of quality produce
4.       Cardamom: Pesticide Contamination
5.       Nutmeg:  Aflatoxin issues
6.       Garlic: Quality and Flavor Issues
7.       Cumin: Pesticide contamination
8.       Mint: Trade and supply related issues
9.       Turmeric (AFT) Supply scarcity
10.   Ginger: Sustainability
Activities of the panel would be research driven. For example, Paprika, Pepper, Garlic and AFT require focused research to increase active ingredient content, develop high yielding varieties, etc.
The panel will also offer consultation and assistance to Spice associations, Government Bodies of Spice growing countries, Manufacturers, Spice Farmers and Official regulatory bodies, so that there is a pool of resources to be used across the world – a source of technical direction and expertise to the entire industry. This function can be provided to spice producers, on a need basis.
There are currently few sources - to obtain technical advice and consulting on spice cultivation. To create a pool of technically competent resources/experts – is a pre-requisite for future developments.
The team at world spice organisation - are happy to extend our invitation to experts across the world to join us, in finding active solutions that will revolutionize the spice industry.
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