Cardamom is a spice made from the seeds of several plants. They are recognized by their small seed pods: triangular in cross-section and spindle-shaped, with a thin papery outer shell and small black seeds.
Nowadays, cardamom has been the high value cash crop and main source of cash income for farmers in eastern Himalayan region including Eastern Nepal, Sikkim and parts of Darjeeling district in West Bengal of India, and Southern Bhutan. In Nepal over 21,960 households in 37 districts are engaged in its farming.Presently, Nepal is the largest producer of large cardamom with 68% share in the market, followed by India (22%) and Bhutan (9%). According to a news report 5,100 tonnes of cardamom were exported in 2015/ 16 from Nepal to overseas market. Taplejung, Panchthar, Ilam and Sankhuwasabha are the major cardamom producing districts producing over 80% of the total national production. Among these Taplejung is the largest large cardamom producing district having 4, 500 hectares are under large cardamom plantation producing over 2,400 tonnes worth 6 billion rupees (about 570 million US dollars).