Brisk business at Mirchi Yard before season begins
Prices of all varieties of chillies go up by Rs 1,000-2,000 per quintal; 1L bags of mirchi reaching market every day.
GUNTUR: The Guntur Mirchi Yard is witnessing brisk business even before the start of the season. The biggest chilli market in Asia has been getting around 1,00,000 bags of mirchi every day in the last couple of days. The prices of various varieties of chilli have skyrocketed since February and are stable now.
The prices of all varieties of mirchi, especially Devanuru deluxe, increased by Rs 1,000-2,000 per quintal. The prices of Devanuru increased from Rs 18,000 to Rs 21,500 per quintal. The prices of Badigi increased from Rs 18,200 to Rs 21,000 per quintal. The price of Teja S17 is Rs 18,500, 341 Rs 22,000, Byadgi 5531/668 Rs 20,000, 334 Rs 19,000, and Number 5 Rs 21,000.
Due to pest infestation, the chilli crop suffered damage and vendors feared all-time low business in the market, but that was not the case. Guntur district tops in chilli production in the country. Due to their unique colour and pungency, chillies from Andhra Pradesh have huge demand in China, Myanmar and Sri Lanka.
Even during the Covid-19 pandemic, the mirchi farmers have bagged good profits and several cotton farmers switched to mirchi cultivation. With this, the extent of mirchi cultivation has doubled to 1.40 lakh hectares from 70,000 lakh hectares last year.
However, pest infestation has affected the yield. The farmers, who managed to get high-quality mirchi, are in a hurry to sell their produce as prices are high. Traders too are eager to buy quality chillies and store them as they fear low yield in the coming month.
Speaking to TNIE, Madhu Rao, a vendor at the yard, described the price rise even before the start of the chilli season as “unusual.” “The traders are eager to stock the best quality mirchi when it is available for exporting it later. They offer good prices to the farmers. We thought the price rise was a temporary phenomena and it would end by February-end. However, the prices remain stable even now,” he said.
“As the yard will be closed for four days due to holidays from Thursday to Sunday, more rush is expected at the yard. We are afraid that, if we waste even a week by not selling our produce, the prices might drop. So I sold my produce before the holidays,” said N Rambabu, a mirchi farmer from Nandyala. Meanwhile, the yard officials asked farmers not to bring their produce to the yard before Monday, as it will be difficult to stock them during holidays.