The 43rd session of the International Pepper Community (IPC) will be held in Mysore (Mysuru) from 22 to 25 November, during which a series of business and technical sessions will be held to discuss the prospects and challenges facing growers and traders.

The IPC is currently chaired by A Jayathilak, who is also the chairman of the Spices Board India.

The conference will see members deliberate on various related aspects, including recent advancements in pepper cultivation, processing, marketing and research, according to Jayathilak. Presentations will also be made by pepper-consuming countries.

One of the sessions, "Pepperexim Meeting", will see producers, exports, importers, traders and grinders exchanging information about the commodity.

Pepper is a significant part of export of spices and spice products from India, with the "king of prices" earning Rs 1,208.42 crore in 2014-15, the volume being 21,450 tonnes.

The earnings represented a 29% increase over the previous year of Rs 940 crore from 21,250 tonnes, according to the Spices Board India.

The overall export of spices and spice products was valued at $2.43 billion in 2014-15, with the volume being 8.93 lakh tonnes, a 9% increase in volume and 7% in dollar terms ($2.26 billion) over the previous financial year.

Kerala accounts for as much as 90% of the pepper grown in India, with the rest coming from Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

The IPC was formed in 1972 as an inter-governmental organisation of pepper-producing countries — India, Brazil, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and Indonesia.

The US is the world's largest import and consumer of pepper, followed by Singapore, which also imports for re-export. Other major pepper-importing countries include Germany, the Netherlands and the United Arab Emirates.

In India, pepper goes by various names, according to the Spices Board India :-

  • Hindi: Kali mirch
  • Bengali: Kalo morich, golmorich 
  • Gujarati: Kalamari, kalomirich 
  • Kannada: Kare menasu
  • Kashmiri: Marutis
  • Malayalam: Kurumulaku, nallamulaku
  • Marathi: Mira, kali mirch
  • Oriya: Gol maricha
  • Punjabi: Kali mirch
  • Sanskrit: Marich ushna, hapusha
  • Tamil: Milagu
  • Telugu: Miriyala tige
  • Urdu: Kali mirch, Siah mirch