Bhikangaon: After soybean, chili growers in Nimar region of Madhya Pradesh are facing difficulties as almost 70 per cent of crop crop has been attacked by virus and heavy rains recently, threatening the yield.

Nimar region one of the most favourable area for the crop in the country. The Nimari Chilli has in the last few decades become a major competition to the Chilli from Guntur (Andhra Pradesh) and red chilli from Bihar. The chilli Mandi in Bediya village in Khargone district is considered to be the Asia’s second biggest Chilli Mandi.

A farmer from Chikalwas village, Bahadur Singh Vaskale said, “Enthused by last year’s high demand for chillies, chilli cultivation has grown this year hoping that they will earn more profit from the crop this. However, farmers dream was shattered due to loss”.

“We have invested between Rs 50,000 and 70,000 per acre to raise the green chilli and sown chilli crop 20 acre. As entire crop got damaged, I’ve decided to uproot chilli plants and harvest cotton to compensate some loss with the cotton,” Vaskale said.

Another farmer from the same village Dagadu Naik narrating his plight said he cultivate chilli on his three-acre land, but now he is allowing cattle to graze on this, while another farmer Anil Jaiswal from Chiltiya village who moved down standing crop with rotavator starts preparing his land for next crop.

Farmers said that now the crop insurance amount is their only hope amid all the gloombut none of the responsible officials of insurance company is responding to the calls of the farmers.

When contacted Bhikangaon horticulture officer BS Jamra said that about 70 per cent chilli crop on 20,500 acre already damaged due to pest attack. We will prepare report and forwarded it to the higher authorities.

Considering the estimated Rs50K per acre the total investment of the farmers in the region for the overall area under crop- 20,500 acre- works out to be over Rs 100 crore.

As per the government average yield expect around eight quintal per acre, which means this year we expect around 1.25 lakh quintal this year. With 70 per cent of crop damage, farmers have to bore loss of Rs 70 crore this year, Jamra said.

Memo submitted

Seeking government help for chilli growers in the region, members of Kisan Sangh led by district co-cordinator Mukesh Patel are eyeing government aid. They have submitted a memorandum, demanding government’s intervention, to the sub-divisional magistrate Rahul Chouhan addressed to the Chief Minister.

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