HAVERI : The demonetisation of high value banknotes has crippled business at Byadgi chilli market in Haveri district. Though large quantities of chilli is arriving in the market, traders are not calling bids to purchase the produce due to cash crunch.
Every year, the chilli season starts in November and lasts till March end and the market transacts record business. This is a market where both domestic and international traders purchase chillies. But after the scrapping of `500 and `1000 notes, traders are finding it difficult to purchase the produce.
Though a large quantity of chilli was arrived last Monday, the traders did not show interest in purchasing it, which led to a price crash. The angry farmers resorted to violent protest and ransacked the APMC office.
As the market started witnessing increase in the arrival of chillies on Thursday, the business resumed on Friday.
As many as 24,527 bags of chilli arrived in the market on Thursday. Byadgi Dabbi variety was sold at `3,800-`22,169 per quintal, Byadgi Kaddi at `1,500-`13,400 per quintal and Guntur at `2,500-`9,958 per quintal.
Traders are taking a cautious approach following the raid by income tax officials on their offices and shops on Monday evening. They are also facing scarcity of cash to pay wages to porters and labourers.
A trader said porters are needed for loading and unloading of the produce and labourers for segregating the chilli based on quality. As they do not have enough notes of small denomination, they are waiting for the currency situation to normalise to start buying chilli. The farmers want cash against sale of their produce, he added.
Babasab Sultansab Hanchinal, a chilli grower from Hirekerur, said: “We want cash as we don’t want to stand in queues to withdraw money.”
Byadgi APMC secretary H S Guruprasad told Express that trade in the market is gradually returning to normalcy. A meeting of chilli growers, traders, buyers, sellers and commission agents was held. When the traders were asked to make payment to farmers in cheques, they readily agreed to it, he added.
Ningangouda Somangouda of Kundgol in Dharwad district said: “I am ready to receive the price through any mode, but how will I pay transportation and labour charges? The authorities should directed the traders to pay at least a portion of the total amount in the form of cash.”