Due to unseasonal rainfall in the state this year, Rajasthan farmers suffered a significant loss of crops, yet many of them are able to become millionaire by growing red chillies. Ranthambore National Park is the main draw to Sawai Madhopur in Rajasthan, but red chillies are also starting to gain popularity here. In several villages today, notably Chhan Village in the Khandar tehsil of Sawai Madhopur, Red Chillies are seen laid everywhere. Red chilles have become so well-known in Chhan village in Khandar tehsil that a separate chilli market has been developed there. Traders from many cities of the country come here with trucks and tractors and take away dried red chillies.
“We have been cultivating chillies for 25 years. Chilli was produced well in one bigha. Chillies worth two and a half to three lakhs have been cultivated.” - Ataullah Khan, a young farmer collecting dry chillies in the village.
Chilli cultivation has been taking place in Chhan village before Independence. In such a scenario, chilli experts are found in every farmer’s house in every village of the area. Akbar Ali, a farmer said “Our family has been cultivating chillies for 3 decades. Sowed in 3 bighas, the yield has been sold up to 4 lakhs. We plant chillies. One plant gives 4 times the crop. Twice a good yield is obtained, then twice a fine chilli comes out.”
Sawai Madhopur district is one of the largest chilli producing districts of Rajasthan. The maximum chilli production is found in Chhan village of the district. Every year chilli is cultivated in 2500 hectares. This time the area was 1800 hectares.
Farmers of the area say that in the last 5 years, the farmers are doing traditional farming of wheat, mustard and have also come down to chilli farming. Now there is a trend to sow hybrid chillies instead of desi chillies as Hybrid quality chillies are uniform. The size of desi chilli varies but the size of Hybrid Chilli is produced in the same size. Unlike desi chilli, Hybrid Chillies are less prone to diseases and more profitable.
According to the Department of Horticulture, 100 to 150 quintals of chillies are produced in one hectare in Chhan. They produce 50 to 100 sacks of chillies. Most of the farmer families in Chhan village have been cultivating chillies for 4 generations.
Source: Dainik Bhaskar