Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Berhampur, Mar 16:

After tomato, now green chilli growers in distress.

Protesting against distress sale of green chillies, farmers in Madhapur area of Odisha’s Ganjam district today dumped hundreds of bags of the vegetable on the road to draw the attention of the government to their plight.

Over 200 farmers have cultivated chilli in over 100 acres in Madhapur area hoping to reap good profits from the hot vegetable which is an essential in Indian cooking.

Farmers are harvesting about 500 bags of the hot vegetable every day.

In the absence of buyers and cold storage, farmers have to distress sell their produce at Rs 4-5 a kilo.

Farmers claimed that they have spent about Rs 1 lakh per acre on the crop but are earning only Rs 20,000-30,000 an acre resulting in huge losses.

“Around 500 bags are lying on the road. There are no buyers. We are unable to sell. We have spent about Rs 1 lakh per acre but we are earning only Rs 20,000-30,000 on the average. We have repeatedly told the government on our problem but it is yet to act,” said Dinabandhu Swain, a farmer.

“If the issue is not resolved we have no option than to dump the chillies in front of the District Collector’s office. We are getting only Rs 4-5 a kg whereas labour costs are much higher. Till yesterday bulk buyers were coming but they were offering very low price. Today they have stopped coming. Farmers are camping here without food since yesterday,” said another farmer Ramesh Khuntia.