FAIFA appeals to Government for Protection of Chilli Crop

Posted by: at 6/02/2017 05:06:00 am


Hyderabad, June 2nd 2017: Federation of All India Farmer Associations (FAIFA), a non-profit organization representing the cause of millions of farmers and farm workers of commercial crops across the States of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Gujarat etc. appealed to the Shri Radhamohan Singh, Hon’ble Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Government of India to protect the interests of Indian chilli farmers by bringing in policy reforms and make chilli crop sustainable. The appeal has also been submitted by FAIFA to Hon’ble Telangana Agriculture Minister Shri Pocharam Srinivasa Reddy, and Hon’ble Agriculture Minister of Andhra Pradesh Shri Somireddy Chandramohan Reddy. The farmers’ are also planning to meet the Concerned Policy Makers in person to further represent their struggles.

India approx. contributes to 25% of the world's chilli requirement and is a leader in chilli exports followed by China with 24%. The crop plays a significant role in Indian economy by providing employment to millions of people at various levels including farmers and farm labourers. However, the farmers engaged in cultivation of chilli are distressed due to declining exports, instability in prices, lack of sufficient cold storage facilities and the producers not getting due encouragement from the Government of India.
FAIFA appeals to Government for Protection of Chilli Crop

FAIFA appeals to Government for Protection of Chilli Crop


In India, major chilli producing states are Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Orissa, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Karnataka, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu. Andhra Pradesh and Telangana contributes to 55% of the total chilli production with 20% of the area under cultivation.

Poor performance of alternate crops and very lucrative chilli prices in 2016 lead to an increase in the area under cultivation by 45% in 2017. However, the prices have dropped by 60% from Rs 140/- per kg in 2016 to 35-40/- per kg in 2017. Lack of minimum support prices and insufficient storage facilities have left farmers with no option but to sell their produce at very huge low price. Few of the framers in the state have also burnt their produce.

Mr. Samba Reddy, a farmer from Narsakkapalle of Warangal district in Telangana and also a member of  Federation of All India Farmer Associations (FAIFA), said, “We appeal to the Ministry of Agriculture to immediately constitute a high-power committee with Secretary, Agriculture spearheading the same to provide immediate solution to the chilli Farmers which are align to the objectives of the government which is “Doubling of the farmer income”.”
Mr. V Venkat Reddy, a farmer from Ramannagudem and also a member of FAIFA said” The prices of chilli have gone down drastically when the farmers are trying to sell. They don't have sufficient cold-storage facilities and the charges were hiked at the existing facilities. Farmers are sleeping on roads for days together as there are buyers at markets.”

“As the existing cold storages are all full. Farmers’ may need 100 more cold storages to mop up the surplus. Each cold storage has an average capacity of 3,000 tonnes” said Ch.Thirupathi Reddy, farmer from Gudepally.  He further added “ Within a span of 10 years, the cost of cultivation of chillies climbed shot up from a mere Rs 30,000 to more than Rs1,00,000 per acre. Demonetisation impacts also added to the costs, in various ways. Seed quality has also been a concern, even as the cost of these seeds kept increasing every year”.

Competitiveness of Indian chilli in the international market has been eroding slowly due to devaluation of currency and increased incentive offered by competing countries for exports. A good harvest in China has also led to sluggish purchase for produce from India. At present, chilli exports are very limited to Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in small quantities. China has emerged as the major exporter in the world market and as a serious competitor to India. Globally there is also availability of alternate Indian varieties: (Charapita - Naga chilli, China Paprika - Byadigi).

“ Lower competitive price quotes from China to major importing countries like Mexico, Thailand, UAE, Saudi Arabia, US, UK Germany and Sweden has outplaced Indian chilli in the global market” stated another farmer  B.Janardhan Rao from Rangapur, Warangal District.

The government has to encourage the exporters and take steps to establish adequate infrastructure for improving quality through technological upgradation on a sustained basis, and conducting an export promotion campaign in identified markets and interaction with policy makers in importing countries may help increase in exports” said  another Chilli Farmer, G Srinivasa Reddy from Motlapalli, Warangal District.

Also farmers’ stated that “The improved quality and productivity of Indian chillies will maintain the Indian dominance in the world market and enable India to increase exports of chillies and chilli products, effectively  meeting the competition from other producing and exporting countries this can be meet with the help of Spices Board which should guide farmers in cultivation and sowing as well as exporters too.”
   

Short term demands:
1. Minimum Support Price (MSP) of Rs 75/- per Kg
2. Creation of sufficient cold storage facilities
3. Encouraging companies with global presence to improve the exports
4. Spices board to act as catalyst and assist exporters and farmers to encourage the exports from India.

Long term demands:
Integration of overall chilli planning and real time information dissemination to the farmers on demand and Supply
Encouraging the development of diversified cropping systems
Mobile market information portal to give real time prices to the growers
Institutional set up-State planning board to take up the responsibilities in coordinating between the FPOS, Progressive Farmers, NGOs and Lead companies in exports.
Infrastructure subsidies and logistics support to the Farmers and FPOs
Encourage and promote more contract farming models by involving Spice board and lead exporters.



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