India’s chilli exports to China have been hit due to suspension of trade following the spread of novel coronavirus and the Centre should take steps to protect the interest of affected farmers, Congress leader K V P Ramachandra Rao said on Thursday.
Raising the matter during zero hour in Rajya Sabha, Rao said the country exports ₹5,000 crore worth of Teja variety of chilli annually, of which 60 per cent is shipped to China.
Much of it is exported from the main growing states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. Teja variety of chilli is shipped the maximum, he said.
Suspension of trade due to coronavirus disease has “unfortunately” halted India’s export of chilli to China, he said. “Chilli farmers of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana are badly hit as prices of chilli are declining. They are forced to sell at a lower rate,’ Rao said.
The Congress leader urged the central government to take measures to protect the interest of farmers of these two states. He suggested the government to ensure minimum support price to chilli farmers and initiate procurement operation besides providing storage facility with insurance cover till the situation gets better for exports.
The deadly novel coronavirus has so far spread to at least 24 countries, including Germany, Australia and the United States. Nearly 14,380 cases have been reported in 24 countries and territories.