GUNTUR (AP):It is estimated that 75 percent of chilli exports, 57 percent of Turmeric exports and five percent of other spices like tamarind and Coriander are contributed by Andhra Pradesh.
Andhra Pradesh is the largest producer of chilli in the country with a share of 30 percent in area and over 45 percent in production. In India, chilli is cultivated in an area of 7.67 lakh hectares and the production is estimated at 12.34 lakh tones. Guntur district in Andhra Pradesh alone contributes to over 35 percent in area under chilli crop in India. Chilli accounts for 40 percent of the total spices exported from India and 23 percent in terms of value.
In 2007-08 exports of chillies reached a record level of 2.09 lakh tonnes valued at Rs 1097.50 crores, accounting for a share of 47 percent in volume and 25 percent in value of the total export of spices and spices products from India. Against the last year’s performance of 1.48 lakh tonnes valued at Rs 807.75 crores, the increase is 41 percent in terms of volume and 36 percent in term of value.
During 2007-08, India remained as the major chilli supplier in the international market. The stringent quality measures implemented by the Board, viz; mandatory sampling and analysis for presence of Aflatoxin and adulterants like Sudan in export consignments of chilli, has made Indian chilli more acceptable in the international markets.
The fall in production of chillies by other producing countries like China, Pakistan etc has also helped India to achieve this record performance. Malaysia is the largest buyer of Indian chilli followed by other traditional buyers like Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and USA.
According to Spices Board figures (2004-05), Andhra produced 7, 48,510 tons of chillies while national production was 12, 33,600 tons accounting for 61 % of total output, while in the case of Turmeric it was 4, 17,820 ton as agianstt all-India production of 7,18,120 tons accouting for 58% while in Tamarind it was 22,721 tons as against all-India production of 1, 87,058 constituting 12%
Andhra Pradesh is one of the major spices producing States in India with is major share in the production of chillies, turmeric and tamarind. The State contributes to nearly 30 percent of the total spice production in the country.
Considering the importance of the Andhra Pradesh in spices trade, the Spices Board has initiated many programmes. They are:
1. Quality improvement programmes.
2. Supply of polythene sheets to farmers for drying of chillies and turmeric under hygienic conditions.
3. Training programme for farmers
4. Training programme for officials of the State Agri/Horti departments.
5. Setting up of Spices Park in Guntur.
6. Setting up of Quality Evaluation Lab for spices in Guntur.
7. Campaign in major chilli growing districts – Guntur, Prakasam, Warrangal and Khammom- to educate chilli growers on the need to improve post harvest practices to reduce aflatoxin levels