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CTFC Recommends Adoption of Good Agri Practices & Mechanisation at All Levels of Chilli Production

CTFC recommendations include developing climate-tolerant varieties, reducing the threat of forged seeds, improving irrigation facilities, offering tailored credit and adequate storage and warehousing space, researching the use of chilli and its products in the pharmaceutical and cosmetics industries, and making improved and economically viable technologies available.

Shivam Dwivedi
Mechanization increases productivity while decreasing human drudgery and cultivation costs
Mechanization increases productivity while decreasing human drudgery and cultivation costs

The Spices Board formed the Chilli Task Force Committee (CTFC) to investigate the problems faced by farmers in major chilli-producing states. The CTFC recommended that the board, the Quality Council of India, and the state Horticulture Departments work together to raise awareness about the importance of adopting Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and organic certification.

While noting in its study report submitted to the Spice Board a few months ago that awareness is low, the CTFC has suggested that the GAP authenticated by the Indian Institute of Horticulture Research, as well as the integrated pest management practices used by M/s ITC Spices, be popularised to achieve the desired results in growing high-yielding and disease-resistant varieties.

The CTFC expressed concern about the traditional method of growing chillies by many farmers, who were unaware of the quality of seedlings and seeds, techniques for growing them, land preparation, sowing, quality control mechanisms, and so on.

"Approximately 25% of chilli produce ready for export is rejected at ports due to a lack of international quality standards," according to the report. The situation necessitated the involvement of Krishi Vigyan Kendras, State Agriculture Universities, various national institutes, and private stakeholders in the PPP model to raise awareness.

The CTFC has also stated that a concerted effort should be made to certify farmers' produce with appropriate standards such as 'Global GAP' and 'IndGAP' to assist in meeting market quality requirements and producing 'consumer safe' spices.

Furthermore, the committee recommended that state governments set minimum guaranteed prices by establishing price stabilization funds, that farm mechanization is implemented at all levels of chilli production to overcome labour issues, and that local machines be developed to replace the expensive Made-in-China ones as soon as possible.

Other CTFC recommendations include developing climate-tolerant varieties, reducing the threat of forged seeds, improving irrigation facilities, providing customized credit and adequate storage and warehousing space, researching the use of chilli and its products in the pharmaceutical and cosmetics industries, and making improved and economically viable technologies available.

Andhra Pradesh leads the table in chilli production, with nearly 6.56 lakh tonnes grown on approximately 1.76 lakh hectares. Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, Odisha, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Assam, Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Punjab follow.

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