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Price crash in Byadgi chilli market leads farmers to go on a rampage

Price crash in Byadgi chilli market leads farmers to go on a rampage (1)

The price crash in the Byadgi chilli market leads farmers to go on a rampage

Angered by the crashing price of red chilli, a group of farmers in the state’s Byadgi chilli market went on a rampage on Monday evening, pelting stones, ransacking the APMC office, and torching several vehicles.

The Byadgi chilli market in the Haveri district of Central Karnataka is well-known for the dry chillies grown there. Byadgi chillies, which have received the Geographical Indication label, are known for their low pungency and high color content.

According to sources, the chilli market saw high arrivals of around 3.1 lakh bags of 30 kg each on Monday, resulting in a labor shortage to handle the massive stocks.

Most of the arrivals were hybrids of the Byadgi chili variety from the second and third pickings, which were not of high quality. According to sources, the price drop was caused by a lack of demand.

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According to reports, the police have stabilized the situation. According to PTI, Karnataka Home Minister G Parameshwara told reporters that chilli prices fell from ₹ 20,000 per quintal to ₹ 8,000 in a single day, causing a commotion at the Haveri APMC market. It is being investigated whether the price drop occurred in all APMC markets or just in the Haveri market.

The Chief Minister has requested a report on the reasons for the price drop. According to PTI, Parameshwara stated that further action will be taken based on the report.

Red chilli prices have been on a downward trend in Karnataka this marketing season, as the crop has been good, with farmers expanding acreage and dry weather supporting growth. Despite facing drought in most growing regions, growers have harvested a larger crop, but prices have not met their expectations.

Prices were unusually high last year, exceeding ₹ 50,000 per quintal for high-quality original Byadgi chillies due to a smaller crop size. Farmers increased their acreage this year, buoyed by high prices from the previous season.

Additionally, higher carry-forward stocks from last year have weighed on prices this year. Karnataka has a cold storage capacity of approximately 80 lakh bags. The carry-forward stocks at the start of the season were estimated to be between 25 and 30 lakh bags of 30 kg each.

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Masala companies use byadgi chillies, while oleoresin makers use certain hybrids. Red chilli, as a cash crop, is not subject to a minimum support price. During 2022-23, Karnataka had over 1.06 lakh hectares under red chilli cultivation, with a total production of over 1.67 lakh tonnes. The majority of red chillies grown in Karnataka are of the Byadgi variety and its hybrids.

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