Farmers in Telangana protest over Rs 10-4K/quintal red chilli price disparity

He alleged that market yard officials were supporting the trading agents and endorsing low prices.
A farmer drying red chillies (Photo | KK Sundar)
A farmer drying red chillies (Photo | KK Sundar)

WARANGAL: Scores of farmers staged a protest at the Enumamula agriculture market in Warangal, one of the biggest in Asia, on Monday over a disparity in prices of red chilli. The farmers said that while the market price for the Teja variety ranged from Rs 21,500 to Rs 21,000 per quintal, traders were only paying Rs 11,000 to Rs 17,000 per quintal. Some farmers, frustrated by the market officials’ response, attempted to enter the market yard office. Upon learning about the farmer’s protest, police arrived at the scene and attempted to pacify them.

Farmers from various parts of the erstwhile Warangal and Khammam district, who came to the market yard to sell their red chilli produce, claimed that traders were offering low prices for the Teja variety.

J Srinivas, a farmer from Mahabubabad district, accused market yard agents and traders of forming syndicates and unilaterally deciding prices for their crops.

He alleged that market yard officials were supporting the trading agents and endorsing low prices. He pointed at the disparity between the mentioned price of Rs 21,000 per quintal on the notice board and the actual purchase prices ranging from Rs 11,000 to Rs 17,000 per quintal. He urged the state government to intervene and establish the minimum support price (MSP).

When contacted, Enumamula Agriculture Market Secretary K Sangaiah clarified that they had instructed commission agents, market staff, and traders to revise the quality standards for red chilli produce purchase. If the quality matched the price, traders were expected to pay the market price.

There were no complaints about pricing, and farmers seemed content with the prices offered for the quality of their crop, he added. Sangaiah reassured that all farmers and traders had agreed to revisit quality checks and pay the original prices for their produce.

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