The Andhra Pradesh state government has formulated guidelines for a market intervention exercise to help red chilli farmers in the state who are in a great distress due to the price crash in the market yard, which is the biggest in the state and the country.
As per the modalities of the scheme, chilli stocks with the farmers would be bought at the price fixed by the government and each farmer will get the additional benefit of Rs 1,500 per quintal, subject to a ceiling of 20 quintals. The price per quintal should not exceed Rs 8,000 inclusive of the Rs 1,500 per quintal being offered by the government. The scheme covers tenant farmers as well.
The state’s market intervention exercise will begin from April 20 and continue up to June 30 with a gap from May 12 to June 11 for the summer holidays.
Price of Red Chilli dropped from a level of Rs 12,000-14,000 per quintal last year to below Rs 5,000 per quintal this year. This has caused huge distress among the farmers forcing the state government to initiate the market intervention exercise.
India accounts for 38% of global production of 18 lakh tonnes of red chillies. Andhra Pradesh and Telangana alone account for 50% of India’s production. The cost of producing the crop is very high. The farmers in Telangana shifted to chillies following the government’s advisory to shun cotton and look out for alternative crops. In addition, favourable weather in the kharif season had also prompted farmers to grow red chillies in several areas.