Irate chilli farmers protesting outside the Malakpet Market Yard on Monday
Hyderabad: For the first time in the history of Malakpet Market Yard, as many as 30,000 bags (3,500 quintals) of red chillies arrived on Monday triggering a crash in the wholesale prices. The farmers, mostly from Gadwal district who failed to get expected profits resorted to protest on the main road necessitating police intervention.
The farmers were hoping that since the market yard resumed operations after a two-day break, would see good demand and that they would be able to get good price.
They were expecting the purchase rate to be around Rs 7000 but were in for disappointment as the prices did not cross Rs 3600 per quintal. The market yard officials had fixed a rate of Rs 5,000 and Rs 3,000 per quintal respectively for two different varieties for the day. But no one offered Rs 5000 for the superior grade.
“What I received from traders would only meet the expenses incurred on labour who worked in the field prior to loading of the stock,” Maddi Reddy of Yaparla village told The Hans India.
Another farmer said that at this rate, it would be better for them to destroy the crop rather than take the trouble to come all the way to the market yard. The agitated farmers sat on dharna on the main road which resulted in traffic jam and finally police had to intervene and disperse the farmers.
The traders say that the situation could go from bad to worse for the farmers, as the red chilli from AP is yet to arrive. Officials said that once the Guntur market yard gets saturated, the produce is diverted from AP to Telangana.
Until and unless the government comes to the rescue of these farmers, the situation cannot be improved. This season’s huge produce is credited to various factors, besides good rainfall. Most of the farmers who earlier produced cotton in the Mahbubnagar and Gadwal area, shifted to chilli this year.