Khammam: Unprecedented arrival of chillies in the market forced marketing officials to place it in the cotton market after filling up the main and chilli yards.
Farmers have been transporting chillies to the markets in the past two days. Chillies are grown on 60,000 acres in the district but the crop got damaged in some mandals because of unseasonal rains in December.
Farmers from Khamm-am, Kothagudem, Surya-pet and Mahbubabad districts brought around 80,000 bags with chillies in it to the market in the past three days. The officials first placed the produce in the main yard first and then the chilli yard. When both yards got filled up, they asked other farmers to load it in the cotton yard.
About 11,000 bags were dumped in the cotton yard. Officials are expecting more arrivals in the next five days.
Fifteen days ago, chillies cost anything from Rs 8,300 to Rs 8,800 per quintal. But it has now started falling. The highest price on Wednesday was Rs 5,100 to Rs 5,300 per quintal. A year ago, prices had crossed Rs 10,000 per quintal.
The price was raised after farmers began selling at lower prices. Experts asked farmers not to go for panic selling and to instead place it in cold storage if they feared traders would form a syndicate and lift the produce at lower prices.
There are occasions when traders make huge profit margins as chillies are in great demand in Vietnam, China and Thailand.
Farming leader N. Nageswara Rao said: “Though the government makes tall claims about implementing e-NAM and other safety nets to safeguard the interests of farmers, it is private traders who have their say and make massive profits at the cost of farmers.”