30 kg of raw chilies in Santhia

In Santhia Upazila of Pabna, which is known as the vegetable storehouse of the country, raw chillies are being sold wholesale at Tk 30 to Tk 35 per kg. But a week ago, raw chilli was sold at Tk 90 to Tk 100 per kg and three weeks ago at Tk 240 per kg (wholesale). This information came to know after visiting the raw material store of Karamja Hut in the upazila on Saturday.

According to Upazila Agriculture Office sources, the season of green chilli cultivation in Santhia Upazila is nearing its end. About 100 hectares of land still has green chillies. Farmers are picking green chillies from the trees of that land and bringing them to the market. In a couple of weeks, the production season of green pepper will be over in this upazila.

Chilli cultivation in Santhia starts in early March. Pepper is available from the field till the end of August. But usually during the rains and monsoons, the pepper plants die. But this time due to less rain and monsoon, many land pepper plants still remain. Apart from this, the farmers of these lands have also carefully kept the pepper trees alive due to good prices this time. According to the information provided by the Upazila Agriculture Office, 2,650 hectares of land were cultivated in this upazila. About 100 hectares of upland land still has pepper trees after farmers removed them from most of the land. Farmers are taking pepper from all those lands and bringing it to the market.
Today, going to the upazila’s Karamja raw material market, it can be seen that in the morning, traders buy raw chilies wholesale at 35 to 37 taka per kg from the farmers. However, around 12 noon, it is sold at the rate of Tk 30 to Tk 32 per kg. Traders and vendors of the haat said that the price of green chillies has been decreasing in the haat for seven days. A week ago, farmers sold raw chilies wholesale at the rate of Tk 90 to 100 per kg in this market. And earlier on August 6, raw chillies were sold here at Tk 240 to Tk 250 per kg (wholesale).

Shafiqul Islam, the seller of raw materials at the market, said, “All the raw peppers sold in this market are local.” Today, about 50 maunds of green chillies were found in the market. However, during the peak season, 700 to 800 maunds of green chillies are grown in this market every day. As new green chillies are starting to appear in many districts of the country including Rajshahi, Bogra, Kushtia, Jessore, the price is decreasing every day.

Noor Ali Sheikh, a farmer of Satbila village who brought green chillies to the market, said, ‘I have got a good price for cultivating chillies on one bigha of land. All the pepper growers are happy now because of the profit in cultivation. Other years at this time all the pepper plants in the land are destroyed. Many people also strip. But this time, many people, including me, have kept the pepper plants in good condition. But as the tree is old and aged, the yield is permanent.

Meanwhile, raw chillies are sold at Tk 30 to Tk 35 per kg in wholesale, but in the retail market today, green chillies are sold at Tk 45 to Tk 50 per kg. A buyer named Enamul Haque, who bought green chillies from the raw material market of C&B bus stand in Santhia, said that two to three weeks ago, he bought green chillies at Tk 200 to 250 per kg. But today he bought it at the rate of 45 taka per kg. He expressed relief at this. However, he said that it is not right to have such a difference between wholesale and retail prices.

Santhia Upazila Agriculture Officer Sanjeev Kumar Goswami said, now the chilli cultivation season of this upazila is at the end. Although there are pepper plants scattered in the entire upazila on 100 hectares of land, the farmers may remove them in a couple of weeks. Later, the farmers will plant new chillies along with early varieties of onions on that land.