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European Jeera or cumin seed is an oblong shaped, sharp flavored and dark colored aromatic spice that is placed second to pepper in the context of importance. It is actually the dried fruit of an annual, thin-stemmed cumin plant, which belongs to parsley family. The plant has a short height of 25-30 centimeters and has white to red colored flowers. These flowers produce the fruits for the plant that are consumed all over the world as a flavoring agent in whole or grounded form. Jeera is also known for its curing characteristics and hence it is used in many herbal and Ayurvedic medicines.
|eera or cumin seed has a significant demand as a spice all around the globe especially in the places where spicy food is preferred. It is an integral part of the recipes in various cultures. After pepper, jeera is considered to be the most important spice in the world. Cumin in grounded form also forms part of various spicy mixtures, most important being ‘Garam masala’ (extensively used throughout south Asia), which are again used to add pungent flavors to the dishes and cuisines. It also has a number of medicinal uses and helps in curing many diseases. |
India being the world leader in the context of spice production, it is also the largest producer of jeera in the world. Jeera is generally cultivated in the hot and humid climates that is aptly provided by the regions in North Africa, southern parts of the North American continent and Southern Asia. Regarding the consumption pattern of this spice, India again bags the first place. The most of the demand for cumin seeds comes from the food and food processing industry and the world’s total demand except India’s demand sum up to a mere 25 to 30 thousand tons. This shows the country’s dominance in the major jeera consuming countries that are mentioned in the following list
The world market structure regarding jeera is very much concentrated as bulk of the production is performed by a fewer countries and only those countries are able to export this spice to the rest of the world. The major cumin seed exporting countries are
India was the primary exporter of cumin seeds and cumin oil in the world since few years but comparatively new entrants in the market like Turkey and Iran are providing stiff competition to now. These countries are able to provide the spice at much cheaper prices than India and hence are gaining advantage over it. Most of the cumin seeds are exported to the countries that do not produce jeera themselves and make huge markets for the spice. These countries are