Hopeless chilli farmers return home in tears

Hopeless chilli farmers return home in tears
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Highlights

Notwithstanding the continuing uproar over the sharp decline in chilli prices for the last few days, the situation remained grim at the Khammam market yard and, in fact, the price fell further much to the chagrins of the farmers, this despite all the major political parties’ protests.

Khammam: Notwithstanding the continuing uproar over the sharp decline in chilli prices for the last few days, the situation remained grim at the Khammam market yard and, in fact, the price fell further much to the chagrins of the farmers, this despite all the major political parties’ protests.

It’s been three days since the aggrieved chilli farmers ransacked the market yard after they witnessed a steep fall in the price. Since then, the Opposition has been vociferous demanding the government to take remedial measures to provide remunerative price to farmers.

However, the only solace the farmers got was resumption of purchases in the market yard. Even though the purchases were continued on Saturday and Sunday, farmers could only manage a model price of Rs 4,500 per quintal.

Against this backdrop, the farmers said that they were offered just around Rs 3,000 a quintal by traders by citing various reasons such as quality and high moisture content.

Speaking to The Hans India, V Madhu, a farmer of Singarayapalem under Konijerla mandal, said: “What I got this season was Rs 3 lakh debt, this despite, I got 75 quintals yield from three acres.

At the start of the season, I sold 15 quintals at a price of Rs 7,000 per quintal and thereafter I didn’t get more than Rs 3,500 per quintal.”

Tangalla Ramesh, tenant farmer of Subledu under Tirumalayapalem mandal, is yet to sell his 60 quintals of chilli. “As of now, the price is discouraging but I can’t hold it too long as there was no space available in the cold storages. Unless I sell my produce at a price of Rs 7,000 per quintal, I will land in debts, which appears to be imminent.”

TPCC Working President Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka said: “The Chamber of Commerce has become a subsidiary of the TRS party and calling the shots in the market without any fear.”

He said that Congress will stand by the farmers who were arrested in connection with the ransacking of market yard.

CLP Leader K Jana Reddy, who visited the yard on Sunday, said: “Instead of being compassionate towards the farmers, the TRS government is threatening the farmers while ignoring the market forces who are playing with the lives of farmers.

Rythu Sangham State joint secretary Nunna Nageswara Rao said: “The market forces are coercing the farmers to sell their produce at throw away prices.”

Khammam market yard secretary P Prasad Rao said that they have ensured a hassle-free atmosphere at the yard for farmers to dispose their produce.

According to him, there are around 40,000 bags still in the yard with May Day being the holiday. Chilli arrivals expected on Tuesday, he said, would be around 40,000 bags.

Meanwhile, Warangal Enumamula Market Yard, the largest chilli market in the State, is being guarded by large number of police personnel.

Referring to the entry restrictions, Market Yard secretary Ajmeera Raju said: “Farmers have been advised to come with Aadhar card or Pahani copies, this to ensure any smooth conduct of operations.” He said that so far chilli purchases have been peaceful in the yard.

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