Trading at chilli yard comes to a halt

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Farmers lock up AMC gates protesting against fall in price

Trading at Asia’s largest chilli yard was stopped on Thursday after irate farmers locked up the gates of the Agricultural Market Committee for hours on Thursday protesting against fall in the price.

The average model prices of chilli have come down to ₹5,000 per quintal at Guntur much below the price during the previous year.

With trading coming to a halt, the yard, spread over 50 acres, was filled to the capacity. The police had to make temporary arrangements at a private ground to accommodate more than 800 trucks.

Farmers were provided with water and food but they wanted the marketing department to allow their trucks to be parked inside the yard.

Heated arguments

Farmers had heated arguments with the police and the marketing committee personnel at the yard.

“We are at the mercy of traders and commission agents. They call us in the morning assuring better price but by afternoon, the prices are crashing to just ₹2,000 to ₹3,000 per quintal. We are demanding a minimum support price of ₹10,000, which barely meets the cultivation cost,” said A. Gurava Reddy, a farmer from Sattenapalli.

The AP government has announced a support price of ₹1,500 over the prevailing price, but the scheme has failed to provide any succour to the farmers. Ever since the scheme has been launched, the price has slid further. AMC Chairman Mannava Subba Rao said the State government’s price support scheme would help the farmers to offset the losses.

“We have done away with all the procedures of the scheme. Now, the ₹1,500 support price over the prevailing prices would be directly credited to the account of the farmers,” said Mr. Subba Rao. The Centre has already intervened and promised to buy the stock for ₹5,000 per quintal in addition to the overhead cost of ₹1,250.

The Opposition party, YSR Congress, too sought to put pressure on the government and its leader Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy held a two-day Rythu Deeksha near the chilli yard recently.

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