Chennai, Feb 21 (BPNS)
The red chilly farmers of Tamil Nadu have demanded a Minimum Support Price (MSP) from the government as prices of chilly have fallen drastically in the state.
The harvest season for red chillies commence in January middle and ends by June last. Arumugan Sounderarajan, a red chilly farmer from Ramanathapuram district while speaking to BPNS said,” To start with, we got decent prices for the produce but as days went by, the prices have slumped bringing in huge losses to me.”
He said that during the initial days of harvesting the price of one quintal of red chilly was Rs 3000 during January end but presently the price has fallen to Rs 1500 to 1800 per quintal which is a major slump in the prices of red chilly.
The farmer said that irrigation and pest attacks have led to a drop in production of chilly as well and coupled with price slump, the farmers are pushed to the wall.
Arumagam said that he had spent around Rs 40,000 per acre and cultivated in 12 acres of land but with the prices falling, he has no source to repay the money which was taken on loan.
Farmers are urging both the state and central governments to fix a minimum support price for the crop. Veluswamy, another farmer from Villupuram district while speaking to BPNS said, “Prices of red chilly are fluctuating. While it was Rs 3000 per quintal a month ago, now it has touched Rs 1200 per quintal and the farmers are demanding a minimum support price of Rs 4000 per quintal.”
The farmers also said that if the farmers are left to market forces, then the red chilly farming in Tamil Nadu will almost be finished and there won’t be a return back.