Chilli prices fall 50% in Telangana & Andhra Pradesh

Chilli farmers across Telangana and Andhra Pradesh are facing a crisis due to low market prices for their produce. Both the states have made a representation to the Centre, seeking assistance to bail out the farmers who are facing hardship due to lack of a fair price and increased production. In a letter to Union agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh, T Harish Rao, Telangana’s irrigation and marketing minister, has asked for funds to help the farmers. The fund infusion will stabilise prices. During the current year, chilli production has increased 14%, which pushed down the spot prices by over 50%. “As the productivity has increased about 14%, it has resulted in an adverse impact on prices, which were dropping to Rs. 5,000-6,000 per quintal against Rs. 10,000 last year,” he said. The estimated production is over 6,98,353 MT this year in Telangana, causing a glut in the state. He said that the state government, through the department of agricultural economics, Agriculture University, had issued a forecast saying that the chilli price per quintal will be around Rs. 11,000-11,400 at the time of harvesting in February-March 2017. This encouraged more than one lakh farmers to cultivate chilli instead of cotton. As against 70,000 acres of chilli cultivation last year, this year’s cultivation spread to nearly two lakh acres. The prices are now hovering around Rs. 5,000 per quintal, causing huge losses to the farmers.