After long wait, chilli farmers have a reason to be cheerful

By TheHindu on 18 Nov 2017

After successive years of low prices, there is something to cheer for the chilli farmers. Prices of premium varieties have begun to increase. Prices of ‘Teja’ and ‘Badiga’ varieties have shot up to ₹101 per kg.

The highest price that Guntur chilli has commanded so far is ₹130 per kg. This is in contrast to the plummeting prices in the last two years.

An increase in production has reduced the demand in the market, and as global demand fell due to availability of crop in Madhya Pradesh, chilli prices fell to as low as ₹70 per kg for high grade variety and ₹40 per kg for low and medium grades.

‘Temporary phenomenon’

Traders, however, are wary as they believe that the trend is a short-term phenomenon and is driven by speculation about a possible fall in yield in 2018 due to the impact of ‘Gemini virus’, which has affected Dachepalli and Rentachintala mandals in the Palnadu region.

“The increase in prices is a temporary phenomenon. Another factor is that the crop in Madhya Pradesh has failed for the second successive year. Hence, there is a slight increase in prices. But price correction has already begun,” said Kilaru Rosaiah, president of the Guntur Commission Agents’ Association.

Meanwhile, the department of Horticulture said that awareness programmes on the effect of the virus are being held across the district.

“The virus, which causes blighting in the leaves and discolours the fruit, thrives in dry climate. The disease spreads quickly, and we are taking corrective measures, including spraying of pesticides,” said Deputy Director, Horticulture, Padmavathy.

Chilli arrivals would start in January and the market is expected to peak in mid-May when farmers begin to selling off common and special varieties, which are kept in cold storages. These varieties command an average price of not less than ₹6,500 to ₹7,500.

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