Domestic consumption of chillies high

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A farmer harvests chillies at the field in Kangyidauk, Ayeyawady Region. Photo: Phoe Khwar

Although the Commerce Ministry has permitted the re-export of chillies, there is no significant export record, U Khin Maung Lwin, Assistant Permanent Secretary of the Commerce Ministry, told Myawady Daily.
Chilli is a major agricultural crop in Myanmar. The ministry gave its nod to the re-export of chillies, but chilli powder producers are unable to supply to foreign markets despite importing raw materials from India. Myanmar has some 400,000 acres of chilli plantations, which produce at least 1 million tonnes of chillies. Domestic consumption is so high that only small volumes are exported to China and Thailand.
Chillies distributed in the domestic market are locally produced. However, businessmen said the locally produced crops contain alpha toxin, which is found in chilli powder. As a result, a few chilli powder enterprises are importing the raw materials from India.
Regarding the re-export of chillies, the associations concerned are negotiating with trading partners from China and Thailand. They will also conduct awareness campaigns concerning the raw materials for chilli powders among the chilli growers, in cooperation with the agricultural department.
In 2014, dried chillies fetched more than Ks15,000 per viss. Nevertheless, the prevailing prices of dried chillies range from Ks5,000 to Ks7,000, depending on the chilli varieties.

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