Insects, falling price affect chilli growers in Kyaukse

Women harvest chillies in a farm in Kyaukse Township, Mandalay Region.  Photo : Ko Htein (NGathayauk)
Women harvest chillies in a farm in Kyaukse Township, Mandalay Region. Photo : Ko Htein (NGATHAYAUK)

The local farmers from East Kyaukse township areas are unhappy with the chilli cultivation because the chilli price is on the decline and insects are destroying the plants, it is learnt. “The chillies are grown with the irrigated water system. Our region usually has a high yield of chilli in a time like this. However, the chilli plantations are damaged by the insects and the yield is lower this year. Last year, we got a yield of around 30 or 40 baskets of chilli per acre. This year, we got even not 20 baskets per acre. This year, the yield of chilli has declined and so is the price. The fresh chillies are sold for over K2,000 per viss. Today, the fresh chillies are sold for only K1,100-1,200 per viss. The planting cost of the chilli is a bit high. So, the local chilli growers are facing the loss of their capital investment,” said Ko Toe Toe Aung, a local grower from Pae Khin village in Kyaukse township.
Regarding the chilli cultivation, the chilli growing costs around K600,000-K700,000 per acre. Those growers who rent the land may pay the land rents as well. After over three months of the chilli growing, the farmers can pick up the chilli. But the picking job depends upon the labour. The chilli can be picked up after three or four months of growing. We could not tell the costs of every single step. However, the chilli price has declined. And the insects destroyed the chilli plantations, he added. Kyaukse east side regions can grow the crops in any season with the irrigated water system. This year, the local chilli growers are encountering hardship because of the destruction by the insects and falling of chilli price. —Than Zaw Min (IPRD) (Translated by Hay Mar)

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