Vietnam is the world leader in the production of black pepper, producing 163,000 tons which is about 34% of the world’s production. The plant is a traditional cash crop in the country and 95% of the black pepper produced is for export primarily to the US, India, the Netherlands, and Germany. Indonesia is the second largest producer at 89,000 tons while India produces 53,000 tons. Top black pepper producing regions in India are Kerala, Karnataka, Konkan, and Tamil Nadu. Other countries on the list are Brazil (42,000 tons) and China (31,000 tons).

The black pepper fruit grows from a woody vine known as pepper plant classified in the family 'Piperaceae'. The fruit appears in the form of small deep brown to black berries which are plucked and dried. Once dried, the fruit is referred to as a peppercorn. The plant is indigenous to the southern region of India and it thrives in tropical climates. Since ancient times, black pepper has been renowned as a useful spice as it spread from India, through trade, to the rest of the world.

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