Red chillies spice up Andhra, Telangana politics as farmers face the heat
Angry chilli farmers have been dumping their produce in all major market yards and setting fire to the produce on roads at some places in protest against sharp fall in prices.india Updated: May 03, 2017 09:54 IST
The red spicy chilli is literally bringing tears to the eyes of farmers in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana states, while heating up its political atmosphere.
Following reports of angry chilli farmers dumping their produce in all major market yards and in some places setting fire to the produce on roads in protest against sharp fall in prices, chilli has become a hot topic for the opposition parties in Andhra and Telangana to take on the ruling parties.
On Monday, YSR Congress party president YS Jaganmohan Reddy launched a two-day Rythu Deeksha (fasting for farmers) at Guntur mirchi yard, the biggest in the country, in protest against the “lackadaisical attitude of the TDP government in coming to the rescue of farmers”.
In Telangana, Congress leaders visited the market yard in Khammam and staged a dharna in protest against the arrest of several chilli farmers who vandalised the market committee office three days ago. The farmers were agitating over refusal of traders to purchase their produce which had been piling up for several days.
Encouraged by their respective governments during the last Rabi season to opt for commercial crops instead of food ones, farmers in both the states had gone in for chilli crop extensively. They were also attracted by the handsome price they got last year — Rs 12,000 to Rs 15,000 per quintal for the grade-1 variety and Rs 7,000 for grade-2.
“In Guntur alone, the yield was around 1 lakh ton which is 40% more than that of last year. With huge supply, the demand fell down sharply resulting in fall in prices,” Guntur mirchi yard president Mannava Subba Rao told HT. According to him, the prices have fallen to Rs 7,000 per quintal for Grade-1 and Rs 3,000 per quintal for Grade-II.
For the past few weeks, mounds of chilli have been piling up at major mirchi market yards as farmers were hoping the prices would go up.
“But, the prices continued to fall, thanks to the nexus between the market committee officials, traders and brokers. This resulted in farmers attacking market yards and setting fire to their produce.” said S Malla Reddy, All India Kisan Sabha leader.