WARANGAL: Chilli farmers in the state are having a dry run this year. They are left with nothing but tears, as prices as low as Rs1,000 per quintal are being quoted for the produce which they have cultivated with months of hard work and hefty investment.
“I took 20 bags to the market and they are offering me Rs1,000 per quintal. During the last year, I sold my produce at Rs11,000 per quintal. I do not know what to do. For labour and transport alone, I spent Rs70,000. Not even half of my investment is coming back,” rued B. Raju, a farmer from Chityala.
Currently, at Enumam-ula agriculture market, chilli prices range from Rs 4,000 to Rs 5,800 per quintal, depending on the variety and quality. Officials at the market said the prices are low because of the low quality of the produce.
“So far, 85 per cent of the total produce coming to the market from Warangal has been sold,” said Enumamula market secretary Azmeera Raju.
“Whatever produce is coming to the market currently is third and fourth-grade quality. That is why these are not fetching good prices. The farmers must understand that the prices vary because of fluctuations in the national and international market. About 80,000 bags of chilli were brought to the market on Tuesday and another 50,000 bags arrived on Wednesday. We are trying to ensure that the bags are sold and packed off on the same day,” he added.
However, farmers said traders’ domination continues in the process. Traders are citing several reasons why prices are less. The farmers are also not finding a place in cold storages to store their produce to be sold at a later stage.
For whom did the government build these cold storages? Is it for the sake of traders or farmers? The owners of the storages say they are all booked up,” Banoth Shankar said....