BHOPAL: Come February 29 and March 1, big farmers, food and agro processing companies, scientists and agronomists will converge in Kasrawad town during the first of it's kind Chilli Festival.
Inspired by the famous Corn Festival of Chhindwara district, the two-day Chilli Festival will mark the start of coordinated efforts to establish Khargone district as the Chilli Capital of North and Central India.
Importantly, the red hot Nimari Chilli has in the last few decades become a major competition to the Chilli from Guntur (Andhra Pradesh) and red chilli from Bihar. The chilli Mandi in Bediya (Khargone) is considered Asia's second biggest Chilli Mandi.
As per available statistics around 60,000 metric tonne Nimari red chilli is yielded from around 23000 hectare area in which chilli is annually cultivated in Khargone district, making it the prime Chilli farming district of the central Indian state.
"The two day Chilli Festival is the brainchild of the Agriculture minister Sachin Yadav and will be the first important step in branding of Nimari Chilli. As many as 120 stalls will display all aspects related to the red hot Nimari Chilli," said Khargone district collector GC Daad.
Special emphasis will be on scientific sessions by experts from specialised institutions and universities to explain region's Chilli farmers ways to tackle various diseases and pest attacks on the Chilli crop.
Also, seed, fertiliser and pesticide makers will put their stalls at the Festival to acquaint Chilli farmers about enhancing production without compromising plant health and produce's quality, the Khargone district collector added.
The festival will be divided into two sessions. While the inaugural session will cover the overall production view and food processing, the technical session will focus on plant protection, irrigation management, Compo Fertigation Management, export opportunity, chilli processing, processed product certification, speech from progressive farmers and panel discussions.