GUNTUR: Chilli farmers staged a road blockade on NH 16 on Thursday demanding that the State government take immediate measures to purchase their produce at the Market Intervention Price of `6,250 per quintal (including overhead charges) announced by the Centre.
In the wake of a further decline in the price of chillies to `2,000 to `3,000 per quintal, hundreds of farmers thronged Sri Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao Market Yard and demanded that their produce be procured by the government agencies at the MIP of `6,250 per quintal.
Vehicular traffic between Guntur and Chilakaluripet came to a grinding halt due to the road blockade by chilli farmers. Mirchi Yard Chairman M Subba Rao reached the spot and urged the farmers to give up their road blockade.
The guidelines pertaining to implementation of the Market Intervention Price are yet to be finalised. The arrival of huge stocks at the market yard has resulted in further decline in the prices of chillies. As the market intervention scheme of the State government and that of the Centre will be in force till June, chilli farmers should not be in a hurry to bring their produce to the market yard and they should show restraint to avail themselves of the benefit, he said.
A police team, led by DSP M Santhosh, rushed to the spot and pacified the agitating farmers. After persuading the chilli farmers to give up their road blockade, the police cleared the stranded vehicular traffic on the highway.
Market Yard secretary M Diwakar said 80,000 quintals of chillies arrived at the yard on Thursday. The yard has a total stock of about 3 lakh quintals of chillies. Purchase of chillies at the MIP announced by the Centre will commence once the Centre finalises guidelines for its implementation, he added.