Agri Business

Bland prices push chilli growers to seek government support

Vishwanath Kulkarni Kurmanath KV Hyderabad/Bengaluru | Updated on February 27, 2019 Published on February 27, 2019

A view of the chilli market yard in Byadgi

Chilli prices are ruling lower in the key markets of main producing states such as Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka as arrivals rise amidst subdued demand. The prevailing low price trend has triggered demands from a section of growers, who are seeking a remunerative support price to cover their costs.

In Guntur, the largest market for chilli, price of the ordinary varieties are hovering between ₹5,000-₹6,000 per quintal as against ₹7,000 last year. The Teja variety chilli is ruling lower at between ₹7,000-8,000 per quintal as against ₹12,000-14,000 last year.

“Yields are low this year as the crop was beset with pests. The cost of production too has gone up, resulting in losses to the farmers,” Peddi Reddy, President of Rythu Sangham of Andhra Pradesh, said. Similarly, the average prices in Warangal and Khammam are hovering between ₹7,500-₹8,000 per quintal, lower than last year’s average of ₹ 9,800 quintal in the same week .”It is now ruling at ₹ 7,500 at Warangal and ₹ 8,000 in Khammam market,” Sagar, President of Telangana Rythu Sangham.

With the prices ruling lower, the farmers are demanding a price stability. Protests have already begun in Telangana, with the farmers’ associations calling for a remunerative price of ₹ 12,000 per quintal. Also in Karnataka’s Byadgi APMC market, the modal prices of the Dabbi variety are ruling at ₹10,542 per quintal as against ₹14,600 in February last year. The Kaddi variety is also ruling lower at ₹9,174 (₹13,726). However, the modal price of Guntur variety in Byadgi market is ruling higher at ₹4,900 levels as against last year’s ₹4,600, despite surge in arrivals.

Sources in Byadgi said the demand is largely subdued this year. Also, the last year’s carry forward stocks are influencing the prices trend. The Khammam market is witnessing arrivals to the tune of 30,000 bags (40 kg each) as the pace of harvest picked up. On an average, the State grows about 4 lakh tonnes of chillis, while the neighbouring Andhra Pradesh State clocks 8 lakh tonnes. Together, the two States contributes about 50 per cent to the total chilli production country, which in turn is a major producer of the commodity in the world.

“The arrivals are going to pick further pace. By next month, the Khammam market would witness arrivals of up to one lakh bags, which can trigger a further crash of price. The arrivals in Guntur generally happen relatively late, almost a month,” S Malla Reddy of All-India Kisan Sabha (AIKS), has said. Reddy alleged that the traders are reducing the price, claiming that the moisture rates are high. The Andhra Pradesh Government had announced a support of ₹1,500 to farmers last year which provided them some cushion.

As prices come under pressure, Telangana and the Andhra agriculture department officials have urged the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices to consider declaring a minimum support price for the spices crop.

Published on February 27, 2019

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