GUNTUR: Mirchi farmers are facing significant distress due to a sharp decline in the prices of various chili varieties over the past ten days.
Guntur marketyard, the largest mirchi yard in Asia, typically maintains its activity even during the off-season. However, a reduction in international demand and production has led to a sluggish business environment, resulting in a notable price drop.
Farmers travelling from distant places, such as Kurnool and Nandyal, with hopes of securing substantial profits, find themselves greatly disappointed.
Sudheer, a merchant at the mirchi yard, attributes the sudden price decline to the slow pace of international marketing during this period and the adverse impact of deficient rainfall on mirchi cultivation this season. Uncertainty looms over the total mirchi cultivation, affecting arrivals at the mirchi yard in the upcoming season from February to May.
Market experts anticipate that the decreased cultivation this season may lead to an increased demand in the subsequent mirchi season, potentially causing a price surge of 30 to 40 per cent. This optimistic outlook could be beneficial for mirchi farmers and traders, countering the recent price drop. Local traders report over 40 lakh bags of mirchi stored in cold storage facilities in the area.
Meanwhile, farmers arriving from distant locations to sell their produce express dejection over the abrupt price decline. According to local merchants, prices for all mirchi varieties have decreased by Rs 3,000 to Rs 4,000 in the past few days.
As of Monday, the prices are as follows: Teja S17 - Rs 17,000 to Rs 20,500 per quintol, 334 Sannam - Rs 18,000 to Rs 22,000 per quintol, Bydagi 5531/668 - Rs 14,000 to Rs 17,000, variety 341 - Rs 14,000 to Rs 17,000, variety No.5 - Rs 15,000 to Rs 21,000, and D D - Rs 14,000 to Rs 17,000. Market experts suggest situation may persist in the coming weeks until international trades show signs of improvement.