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Ferozepur Farmers Ditch Paddy-Wheat Cycle to Grow Chilli & Earn Rs 2 Lakh per Acre

Chilli growers in Ferozepur claim that they earn between Rs 1.50 to 2 lakh per acre out of chilli crop after deducting input costs and other expenses. This is significantly higher than the average income of Rs 90,000 per acre one can make out of wheat and paddy.

Shivangi Rai
Chilli growers of Ferozepur are setting an example for other farmers for coming out of the wheat-paddy crop cycle and successfully reaping rich dividends without depending on the traditional crops.
Chilli growers of Ferozepur are setting an example for other farmers for coming out of the wheat-paddy crop cycle and successfully reaping rich dividends without depending on the traditional crops.

The Punjab Government has recently announced the establishment of a chilli cluster in Ferozepur, a border district of Punjab, as part of its crop diversification program.

The program aims to provide technical support to a group of growers to minimize input costs and enhance crop quality, thus increasing its export and domestic market potential. The announcement is significant because Ferozepur is one of the biggest cultivators of chilli crops in the state, with close to 10,000 hectares of land under chilli cultivation and an annual output of about 20,000 metric tonnes.

According to officials, the chilli cluster development program will help chilli growers tap into the export and domestic markets by providing them with technical support to enhance the quality of their crops. They also emphasized the need to reduce input costs and increase income for the farmers.

Chilli growers in Ferozepur claim that they earn between Rs 1.50 to 2 lakh per acre out of chilli crop after deducting input costs and other expenses. This is significantly higher than the average income of Rs 90,000 per acre one can make out of wheat and paddy. Chilli crops are planted at the end of October and in November, with harvesting starting in March and April. Some growers even continue with the crops till August, which eliminates the need for transplanting water-guzzling paddy during the Kharif season.

Manpreet Singh, one of the chilli growers, said that he earns a 2 lakh per acre income from the crop. Singh grows chilli over 100 acres of land at Lumbriwala village, Ghal Khurd block. He added that red chilli fetches Rs 230-240 a kg while green chilli gets Rs 20-25 per kg. The chilli of Ferozepur is now being acknowledged, and traders from other places like Ganganagar in Rajasthan and even Andhra Pradesh have started coming to buy the crop from here.

In places like Gujarat, parrot green chilli has demand while dark green chilli is supplied to places like Indore, Nagpur, and Bhopal. In the Ferozepur district, three blocks, namely Ferozepur, Ghall Khurd, and Mamdot, are known for cultivating the chilli crop.

Shalinder Kaur, Horticulture Director, said that a cluster development approach had been adopted to increase the income and minimize the input cost of farmers. She emphasized that the department would do handholding of chilli growers and help them enhance the crop quality for tapping export potential. Twenty chilli farmers have already come up, and the department is doing the hand-holding wherever required. Also, they want the farmers to grow chilli absolutely scientifically.

In conclusion, the establishment of the chilli cluster in Ferozepur is expected to boost the income of chilli growers in the region by providing them with technical support and enhancing the quality of their crops. It is also expected to promote crop diversification and reduce input costs, thereby helping farmers increase their income. With the acknowledgment of Ferozepur's chilli crop, it is also expected to open up new markets for chilli growers and improve the economy of the region.

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