Chilli prices issue: Telangana asks agri university to give price forecast
The directive from the Telangana govt to Jayshankar Agriculture University in Hyderabad follows the fiasco in April over a steep fall in chilli prices
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Hyderabad: After the fiasco in the Khammam agricultural market in April, when farmers ransacked it over a steep fall in chilli prices, the Telangana government has now asked the Prof. Jayshankar Agriculture University to research price trends and develop a model for crop harvest forecasting that could prevent such farmer distress.
In the last week of April, angry farmers sacked the market yard in Khammam district after chilli prices plummeted from Rs10,000-12,000 per quintal last year to Rs3,000-5,000 this year.
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“Prices were high last year because the supply was less. And with good monsoon in 2016 coupled with more farmers opting to grow red chillies and Mission Bhagiratha (the irrigation scheme initiated by the government), the supply was much higher in 2016-17. Hence prices fell,” said a senior officer from the agricultural marketing department, requesting anonymity.
G. Lakshmi Bai, director, Telangana agricultural marketing department, said the agriculture university experts have also been tasked to research international prices of crops and the import and export scenarios of other countries, with regard to farm produce. “We want to advice farmers on crop situations and also some price forecasting,” she added.
Saraswati Kavula, an organic farmer and member of the National Alliance for People’s Movement (NAPM), blamed the “propaganda of the state government” and imports for the price fall. “There is a need for a protective system now,” she said.