Chilli growers are facing huge losses as the yield has drastically fallen due to hot weather and lack of rain.
Chilli is widely cultivated in Shimulia union of Shivalaya upazila and Balla union of Harirampur upazila in Manikganj and Jhitka Bazar in Harirampur and Barangail Bazar in Shivalaya see large-scale buying and selling of chilli.
Famous for its distinct taste and flavour, chilli from the area is sent to different places of the country including Dhaka, Chattogram and Satkhira.
The item is also exported to several East Asian, Middle Eastern and European countries.
“Our chilli plants dried due to excessive heat and lack of rain this season. In a normal situation, 10 to 15 maunds (a maund = 40kg) of chilli is grown on one bigha of land. But now I am getting less than two maunds,” Riaz Uddin, 70, said during this correspondent’s visit to Shimulia village in Shivalaya a few days ago.
It is difficult to recover even the cultivation cost although the chilli price has risen to about Tk 30 per kg, from Tk 15 in last season, he said.
Many other farmers of the village echoed the same.
Wholesalers are also frustrated due to the low yield of chilli this year.
Md Taj Uddin, a wholesaler at Barangail Bazar, said, “I have been exporting chilli of this region to Dubai, Kuwait, Abu Dhabi, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Singapore and different European countries for the last 25 years. But this season I am frustrated due to low yield and price rise of the item in the local market.
Habibur Rahman Chowdhury, deputy director of the Department of Agricultural Extension in Manikganj, said the yield has fallen this year as the weather was unusually hot and there was lack of rain this season.