Chilli growers in tears over price manipulation

Highlights

Chilli Growers in Tears Over Price Manipulation, Commission Agents, Green Chilli. The traders and the commission agents have allegedly joined hands to bring down the purchase prices, leaving the growers a harried lot.

Price per quintal at `800 as against `1,800 last year.

Steep decline in prices for their produce, allegedly due to connivance between traders and commission agents at the marketyard here, has raised the hackles green chilli growers who have toiled hard despite adverse conditions, naturals well as man-made.

The traders and the commission agents have allegedly joined hands to bring down the purchase prices, leaving the growers a harried lot.

The situation has reached such a stage that the growers took to a violent agitation on Monday morning, demanding that the prices be raised. They attacked the marketyard and damaged furniture in traders’ outlets. As the situation seemed to spin out of control, District Collector I Srinivas Sri Naresh intervened and directed the police to take action against the traders and ordered that their licenses be cancelled if any cartelization was detected. The Collector, along with Deputy Speaker Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka, visited the yard to pacify the angry growers.

The farmers also complained that the marketyard officials were not coming to their rescue and alleged that they were taking a cut from the steep profits made by the traders. The BJP and the CPI activists also held dharnas at the marketyard to express their solidarity with the farmers.

According to the farmers, the market yard which, has a turnover of about Rs 200 crore a year, has become a hot bed for corruption. They allege that the commission agents have formed a syndicate and are controlling the entire trade. Most of the time the price fixed is much below the remunerative price.

When contacted, Assistant Director (Marketing) Laxman told The Hans India that they are taking measures to see that the farmers do not suffer. He said about 2,000 bags of chilli have been purchased at Rs 1,000 per quintal.

The farmers allege that the prevailing price till last Saturday was Rs 1,800 per quintal. But on Sunday when the produce was brought to the market, the commission agents and traders reduced the price to Rs 800. The protests from the farmers fell on deaf ears, and the traders even attacked the farmers. The traders are also forcibly collecting 10 per cent commission from the farmers, though it should have been 4 per cent, they said.

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