Export of high quality chilli varieties from Guntur would be given a big boost and a task force would be set up with Central assistance to grade,process and pack chillies, Chief Minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu said at Yedlapadu in Guntur district on Monday.
The Chief Minister along with Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman inaugurated a Spices Park and a chilliprocessing unit set up on PPP mode at Mydavolu and Vankayalapaduvillages.
“Guntur is famous for its famed varieties of red hot Chilli and the district has tremendous potential in exports of spices. Apart from high quality chilli, farmers produce turmeric, coriander and cotton. I know that thesecrops are vulnerable to volatile market conditions and our endeavor is to insulate farmers from the shocks of sliding prices,’’ Mr. Naidu said.
Stating that the State accounted for 60 per cent of chilli production of the country, Mr. Naidu said farmers should be educated on the need to reduce chemical pesticides and control pesticide residues in chilli.
Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said chilli farmers were free to usethe services in Spices Park. Farmers could bring the raw chilli to the park with an installed capacity of one million tonnes per hour where it would be cleaned, graded, powdered and packed.
She also appealed to entrepreneurs to make the fullest use of facilities provided at the park including uninterrupted supply of power, common storage for raw material and finished products, network of internal roads and other common facilities.
So far, 18 entrepreneurs have been allotted units in the park and 22 units were expected to be grounded soon. The park would generate direct employment to 200 persons and indirect employment to 1,000 persons.Tamil Nadu based Aachi Masala has been one of the promoters of Spices Park but farmers would come here and use the facility, she said.
Chairman of Spices Board Jayathilak said by adding value to chilli,farmers could expect an average increase of price of Rs. 30 per kg.Minister for Agriculture Prathipati Pulla Rao urged the Union Minister to grant funds for laying a road from Mydavolu to the Spices Park. He also appealed to upgrade the existing Spices Board office in Guntur. Speaker Kodela Siva Prasada Rao said mechanisation of agriculture should be given a priority.
Minister Ravela Kishore Babu, MLAs Alapati Rajendra Prasad, NakkaAnand Babu, Tenali Sravan Kumar, K. Sridhar, YV Anjaneyulu, IGP N.Sanjay and Collector Kantilal Dande were present.