VIJAYAWADA: To find a solution to the problems of chilli farmers in the State, Union Minister of Agriculture Radha Mohan Singh has called a meeting of agriculture and other officials concerned from both state and Centre on Thursday.
Singh took the decision after meeting AP Agriculture Minister Somireddy Chandramohan Reddy and Marketing minister C Adinarayana Reddy in the chambers of Union Minister of Urban Development M Venkaiah Naidu in Delhi on Tuesday.
With chilli farmers sending SOS to the state government, CM N Chandrababu Naidu had sent Somireddy and C Adinarayana Reddy to Delhi with a letter after discussing the issue in the recent Cabinet meeting.
Both ministers had requested Radha Mohan Singh to intervene in the issue and come up with a solution to save chilli farmers of AP, who are severely affected due to the lack of remunerative prices.
In the State, farmers had taken up chilli production in 19 per cent more areas than last year and the production has increased by 17 per cent. Now, with all the cold storage units in the State filled to the brim, there is no place even to store the crop.
“Chilli farmers in the State, especially from Guntur, are cutting a sorry figure today with no remunerative price for the crop. Based on the abnormal price for chilli in 2015-16, farmers went for the crop, but now they are suffering losses with slump in chilli price due to lack of demand,” Somireddy Chandramohan Reddy told reporters in Delhi.
Explaining the statistics of chilli crop in the State in last two years, he said farmers had gone for the chilli crop expecting high returns, but the demand has come down with equally good production in other regions in the country.
“The situation is such that chilli farmers from Telangana, Karnataka and Maharashtra are coming to Guntur Mirchi Market Yard to sell their produce. Exports have come down,” he said.
“We explained the situation to Radha Mohan Singh and he responded positively. A solution will emerge by Friday or Saturday. We have suggested for direct procurement from farmers or MSP for Chilli that is still with the farmers,” he said.