1. Home
  2. Agriculture World

Red Chilli Prices Skyrocket In Telangana Due To Pest Attacks; Costs Rs 55,500 Per Quintal

Since January 2022, more than twenty farmers have committed suicide in Telanagana. Hundreds of farmers around the state have been hit by a pest infestation. In addition, farmers have been forced to adopt drastic measures due to their inability to repay debts.

Chintu Das
Red Chillies
Red Chillies

More than 20 farmers have died by suicide in Telangana since January 2022. And the cause is ‘Chilli threats’, a pest attack that has affected hundreds of farmers across the state. And, the inability to pay back loans has pushed farmers to take the extreme step. 

Human rights forum and independent organisation in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana formed a fact finding committee to investigate the issue.

“ Generally, a mirchi crop requires 1 lakh investment per acre. In addition to the family labour. This year the farmers have lost lakhs of investments in the fields and they have lost all their efforts”, says Dr. S Thirupathaiah, Human Rights Forum.

The rate of desi chilli has gone upto Rs 55,500 per quintal. This is higher than the price of one tola of gold. Compared to a year ago, the same chillies are priced at about Rs 8,000 to Rs 9,000 a quintal. The premiere desi variety was priced at Rs 20,000 a quintal. The price hike has been attributed to lower production across the country, increased demand in the international market and crop damage due to pests.

India’s Chilli Market

India is the world’s largest producer, consumer and exporter of chillies. Red chilli is grown extensively across Karnataka, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh.

The desi variety is grown in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. It has a high demand both in India and overseas. It is used for food flavouring and colouring and in preparation of chemicals. But, these crops are vulnerable to pest attacks.

Agricultural minister, Narendra Singh Tomar said that around 40 to 80 percent of the damage to the chilli crop in the two states was because of the pest invasion. Devi Reddy lost her husband when he consumed weedicide. Heart broken from the loss, the future of her family now seems uncertain.

“In Mahabubabad district alone, around 40,000 hectares of chilli fields have been affected by this black thrips pest. And the yield of the crops have dropped to less than 10%. Most of the farmers are scheduled tribe farmers, small and marginal farmers. They could not bear this much loss to their crops,” adds Dr. S Thirupathaiah, Human Rights Forum.

Chilli thrips is an invasive pests species that comes from SouthEast Asia. It is less than 2 mm long. It is known to infest more than 225 species of plants. This includes corn, cotton, egg plant, pepper, strawberry, tomato and ofcourse chilli.

Chilli is a high investment crop with farmers investing more than Rs 80,000 to Rs 1,00,000 per acre. And farmers in Telangana have become hopeless. The government’s earlier promise of compensation after crop loss in January has not yet been fulfilled. But the farmers continue to seek help from the government.

Take this quiz on World Meteorological Day to check your knowledge about meteorology! Take a quiz
Share your comments

Subscribe to our Newsletter. You choose the topics of your interest and we'll send you handpicked news and latest updates based on your choice.

Subscribe Newsletters