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Pest Infection Robs Heat Off `Nimari' Chillies

7 Sep 2020 8:03 pm
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Indore (Commodities Control) - Pest infection and virus attack has ruined over 70% of chilli crops in the region, causing deep anguish and distraught among chilly growers. This is despite the mammoth rise in acreage of chillies in Nimar region of Madhya Pradesh.
“Unfavourable weather conditions, hot climate and pest infection ruined 70% of the crop”, said Shyam G Pawar, Khargone district president, Bharatiya Kisan Sangh.
He said a few days back a survey team comprising village patwaris, officials from horticulture department and others a few days back took stock of the crop and found it to be infected with virus.
“The survey would be carried out to calculate the extent of damage to chilli crops in the region”, Pawar said.
He added, “chilli farmers last year earned Rs one lakh to Rs 5 lakh per hectare from chillies due to high yield amid favourable weather conditions, but this year these earnings appear to be a distant dream and there is all likelihood that many of these farmers may not even recover their farming cost on chillies”.

Baliram Birla, secretary, Bedia mandi, considered to be the second largest chilli mandi in Asia, also confirmed large scale damage to chillies in the region due to pest infection.
“Last year, Bedia chilli mandi recorded the arrival of 3,09,779 quintal of chilli from surrounding districts. However, this year the arrival of chillies are yet to gather momentum”, Birla said.
“The arrival of chillies in mandis may gather steam within a fortnight. A few days back, about 1.5 to 2 quintals of chillies arrived at Bedia mandi and were quoted at Rs 80-110 per kg. Currently, because of high moisture content, chillies are being quoted at as low as Rs 70 per kg”, he added.
“Besides traders from various parts of India, exporters come to Bedia mandi in large numbers for Nimari mirchi”, said Khargone mandi secretary.

“Last year, the Madhya Pradesh Government had organized Nimar mirchi festival to brand Nimari chillies at global level, but recurring of pests in chilli crops appear to have robbed the interests of farmers in chilli farming and many of them may be prompted to replace chilli farming with cotton farming next year”, he said.

Nimar's chilli is known for its tangy taste and has carved its own distinct identity due to its color and sharpness. Nimari mirchi is not only in high demand from within the country but it is also being exported to countries like China, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Thailand and UAE respectively.

It is predominantly grown in the districts of Khargone, Dhar, Khandwa, Barwani and Jhabua in East and West Nimar regions of Madhya Pradesh.

Apparently encouraged by the exceptionally high yield of Nimari mirchi in the region last year, the area under chilli cultivation this year has risen from 10,000 hectares last year to about 50,000 hectares this year with the farmers expecting a hefty return on chilli cultivation.
(Commodities Control Bureau)

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