Chillies cultivation had been brisk in Marungapuri block in the district for a couple of weeks and farmers are hopeful of registering higher yield, thanks to availability of irrigation water in their percolation ponds.
The district accounts for 1,160 hectares of land under chillies cultivation and Marungapuri block alone accounts for a lion’s share of 343 hectares. The red soil in this block is ideally suited for the growth of chillies, according to Agriculture Department sources. There are two varieties in chillies — ‘samba’ or long variety and ball-shaped variety. Ball-shaped variety, also known as ‘mundu milagai’, is not grown in this district, sources say. The average yield was one tonne a hectare.
A cross-section of farmers in Marungapuri said they anticipated a good yield this season. They got the hybrid seeds from Ottanchathiram.
A. Mani, a farmer of Marudhampatti village, said he had cultivated chillies on two acres of land by investing about Rs. 6 lakh. “The more the investment is, the more the profit,” he says, explaining the expenditure involved in crop protection technique.
Only water-dissolved fertilizer should be applied periodically — a tough exercise as no direct application of fertilizer should be taken up for this crop. The life of the plant is 10 months and the yield starts from the third month.
He said the price for the chillies was fixed by the wholesale dealers in Kerala. “We market the chillies in accordance with the rates fixed in Kerala,” he said.
R. Chandrasekaran, Deputy Director of Agro Marketing Intelligence and Business Promotion Centre, said the price per kg of ‘samba’ chillies would range between Rs. 55 and Rs. 60. April and May would be the peak period for the crop and he had advised farmers to market the produce immediately after harvest as the market rates were likely to register downward trend in course of time.
Source : http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-tamilnadu/cultivation-of-chillies-in-full-swing-in-marungapuri-block/article6968141.ece