Telangana: Chilli farmers' tears still flow

Growers yet to get help promised by Centre amidst demands for more.

Warangal/Khammam: Even as the Centre announced Rs 5,000 minimum support price in addition to the Rs 1,250 as overhead charges, chilli farmers at Enumamula market are yet to receive the amount.

Market secretary Azmeera Raju said they are yet to receive guidelines regarding MSP for farmers and said they would implement the order as soon as they receive it.

As of now, the prevailing prices are being offered and farmers continue to be disappointed. The Telangana Rythu Sangham is demanding that the Centre double the MSP announced and implement it from the month of March.

Peddarapu Ramesh, assistant secretary of Telangana Rythu Sangham, said: “If the government implements this new MSP from May 2, traders would be the beneficiaries instead of farmers. Most farmers have already sold off their produce. However, if this MSP is implemented from March 2, many farmers would benefit.”

Koraboine Kumaraswamy, a member of the Sangham, added: “The guidelines of this MSP also must be released as soon as possible. Also, the produce must be bought completely without grading it through markfed and lawfed.”

Since the beginning of this season in January, prices have been spiralling downwards, from Rs 7,000 to the present Rs 2,500. After the state government asked farmers not to grow cotton and opt for chilli instead, there was increased production in the state. This is evident from the am-ount the chilli brought to the market this year as compared to last year.

From December 2015 till the end of the season in 2016, the quantity of chilli brought to the market was 5,15,129 quintals. This year, so far, 8,20,634 quintals of chilli has been brought to Enumamula market.

Increased crop area gives bumper yield
Not only the area in which chilli was sown, but also its yield was unprecedented this time. Chilli crop area in TS was 85,000 hectares this year, as against the ave-rage of 73,350 hectares.

In Khammam and Bhadradri-Kothagudem districts, chilli was so-wn in 50,000 hectares against 35,000 hectares last year. The yield was over 22 quintals per ac-re when the average yi-eld is 15 to 20 quintals.

Rains in the final days helped get more yield, this even though crop in 10,000 hectares in various mandals in the district was damaged.

Suryapet and the erstwhile Warangal are the other two districts that have been raising more chilli — 22,000 hectares and 8,000 hectares, respectively.

If one looks at the figures of chilli lifted from Khammam market, it crossed all the previous records.

A total of 11.80 lakh quintal of chilli was lifted so far in Khammam market against 10.13 lakh quintal during the previous year. It is expected that there is another five to six lakh quintal will reach the Khammam market by the first week of June.

About 16,000 quintals of chilli arrived in Kh-ammam on Thursday. A Chinese company at Mudigonda, which bought 2.20 lakh quintals of chilli in the previous year, lifted 3.80 lakh quintals so far and is ready to buy another 1.5 lakh quintal because of the availability of the produce at lower prices.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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