Black pepper (Piper nigrum L.) (Family: Piperaceae) is a perennial vine grown for its berries extensively used as spice and in medicine. India is a major producer, consumer and exporter of black pepper throughout the world. During 2013-14, 21,250 tonnes of black pepper products worth Rs. 94,002 lakhs were exported to international markets. Black pepper is cultivated largely in Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu and to a limited extent in Maharashtra, North eastern states and Andaman & Nicobar Islands. The crop is grown in approximately 201381 hectares with a production capability of 55000 tonnes annually (2012–13). Kerala and Karnataka accounts for the bulk of black pepper production within India.
Black pepper is the world’s most traded spice. It is one of the most common spices added to cuisines around the world. Vietnam has achieved the status as the largest pepper producer in the world within a short span of time. During 1990’s, it was a marginal player with the production of about 20,000 tons. It has reached the annual production level of close to 155,000 tons. At present, it accounts for close to 38.6% of global production.