Farmers in Prakasam district now get up to Rs.8,600 per quintal. Those who have cultivated conventional varieties have got a yield of 25 quintals per acre, while it is over 40 quintals per acre for the hybrid varieties.

Chilli growers in Prakasam district, including the tenant farmers, are in an upbeat mood with the price of the crop fetching them up to Rs 8,600 per quintal this year.

The farmers, who have grown chilli in 50,000 hectares during kharif and another 12,500 acres in rabi, are a happier lot this year with more productivity and better market price for their produce, says Horticulture Assistant Director P. Jenamma. “With the congenial climatic condition, the farmers have reaped a better yield this time, after initial losses due to torrential rains last year,” she says.

Those who have cultivated conventional varieties have got a yield of 25 quintals per acre, while it is over 40 quintals per acre for the hybrid varieties.

“I have spent about Rs.1 lakh per acre on crop inputs. I have made an overall profit of around Rs. 5 lakh from my five acres of land this year,” said Ch Ramachandran, a 40-year-old tenant farmer who has grown chilli as a second crop this year at Nagulapupadu while drying his produce.

Irrigation facilities

Farmers say timely irrigation water supply has led to the good yield. “For the first time, water was released from the Obul Reddy Gundalamma reservoir and that’s why we got such a good harvest,” says another farmer K. Tirupatiah, who cultivated chilli in three acres and made a profit of over Rs. 3 lakh.

Prices may go up further

Market experts expect that the price may increase further. “ The chilli price may go up to Rs 9,000 per quintal in a couple of months,” says Andhra Pradesh Rythu Sangam district secretary D.Gopinath. “Even discoloured chillies also fetched the farmers Rs 3,500 per quintal this year,” he adds.

The cash crop is mainly grown in western parts of the district including Markapur and Yerragondapalem and in the areas close to Guntur district like Inkollu, Parchur, Yaddanapudi, Martur, Karamchedu and J. Ponguluru.

Meanwhile the farmers have underlined the need for filed irrigation facility. “It is high time the State government complete the works pertaining to field channels so that we can save Rs.3,000 per acre which we spent now on lifting water through diesel generator sets from the main canal laid under the Obul Reddy Gundalakamkma reservoir,” feels Marella Subba Rao, another farmer who has grown chilli in two acres.