GUWAHATI, Aug 24 � The State Government is going to declare Bilasipara-Chapor areas of Bilasipara and Dhubri subdivisions as chilli-growing areas. The Government is also allocating an amount of Rs 50 lakh under a special package to enhance the chilli-growing area to 6,000 hectares from the existing 3,000 hectares under these two subdivisions.
This was announced by Agriculture Minister Nilamani Sen Deka at a meeting held with the chilli farmers of the subdivisions on the Chapor Pragati Sangha premises on Wednesday. Around 500 farmers attended the meeting.
Talking to this newspaper, the minister informed that the State Government would also provide storage, packaging and marketing facilities to the chilli growers.
He stated that such a step has been planned to be taken by the Government for the first time in the history of the State�s agricultural development.
It needs mention here that farmers of the two subdivisions have been cultivating chilli on their own and they are exporting their produce to Siliguri at the rate of four to five tonnes per week. They start farming from the second part of September and continue till the first week of April.
A hectare of farmland gives 50 to 60 quintals of green chilli. The productivity of each hectare of farmland in terms of dry chilli is estimated to be between 10 quintals and 12 quintals.
One bigha of land under green chilli cultivation fetches a farmer between Rs 35,000 and Rs 40,000, while the dry chilli produced from that quantity of green chilli fetches a farmer between Rs 60,000 and Rs 68,000. This is against the around Rs 8,000 fetched by a bigha of land under paddy cultivation. One hectare of land comprises seven-and-a-half bighas.
Farmers sell green chilli at the rate of Rs 10 to Rs 15 per kg, while dry chilli per kg is priced by them between Rs 40 and Rs 60.
In the markets, green chilli is sold between Rs 20 and Rs 25 per kg and dry chilli is sold between Rs 80 and Rs 100 a kg with seasonal variations, the minister said.