He said the trade was trying to encourage increased cultivation of spices especially among plantations companies with huge land banks because of the export demand and potential to increase shipments.
But Fernando told the association's annual meeting that theft of produce is "killing the spice industry", according to a statement..
"No serious investor will invest his money and time if he cannot reap his harvest," Fernando said.
"We implore the government to introduce deterrents against theft of agricultural produce."
The outgoing chairman of SAPPTA, Kathrik Ramachandran, said exports of spices and allied products earned 16.8 billion rupees in 2008/2009, up marginally from the year before.
Export volumes grew to 33,026 tonnes from 29122 during this period, he added.The global demand for spices will continue to increase because of growing awareness that consumption of spices contribute to good health, he said.
Spice trade officials said there was not enough cultivation to meet the demand and that is production was increased more could be exported.