Hyderabad: The government has alerted collectors and superintendents of police in the districts to possible trouble when chilli stocks begin to arrive at market yards this week. In April this year, farmers in Khammam, Warangal, and Mahbubabad districts attacked market yards to protest the steep fall in the price of chillies, from Rs 12,000 in 2016 to Rs 6,000 per quintal in the current year. Since chilli is a commercial crop, there is no minimum support price prescribed by the government. Traders purchase stocks at a price based on demand and supply. So price fluctuates.
The state produced nearly seven million tonnes of chilli in April this year against 6.1 million in 2016. The area of production increased by almost 30 per cent in 2017 due to good weather and better price offered for chilli in 2016. The state consumes about 15 per cent of the total chilli crop cultivated. The rest is sold in Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. There are reports currently that there is bumper production in other states too and so there will be little demand for stocks from Telangana state.
Besides, the existing price band of chilli is in the range of Rs 4,700 to Rs 9,600 per quintal, which is not encouraging. Agriculture secretary C. Parthasarathi said, “We expect nearly 90,000 metric tonnes of chilli stocks to arrive in markets from this month. Due to higher production, traders may exploit the situation. Officials have been directed to check syndicates by traders and exploitation of farmers. Necessary security arrangements will also be put in place to avoid untoward incidents.” He said better storage facilities will be provided in all market yards this year to enable farmers to store their produce if there is a steep fall in prices on any given day, so that they can sell later.