3-day Chilli Mela from today

For three days from Saturday (January 20), people can purchase red chilli directly from the growers, choosing between different varieties, skipping the chain of middlemen.

The eighth edition of Chilli Mela is being held at Moorusaviramutt High School ground here from January 20 to 22, in which more than 100 chilli growers from the region are expected to take part. Exhibition of different varieties of chilli seeds, and a framers' group selling chilli in ready-made packets in different weights are the added features this time.

Unlike the previous year's event which was held at the multi-purpose exhibition centre at APMC premises, Chilli Mela this time has returned to the City centre. The event is not just aimed at linking chilli growers and consumers, but also to inform farmers about recent research works and to bring growers, scientists, and processors together.

Organised by Karnataka State Spices Development Board (KSSDB), Horticulture Department, Karnatak Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI), and farmer producers' organisations, the Chilli Mela will be inaugurated by Horticulture Minister S S Mallikarjun on Saturday (January 20) at 11:00 am. District In-charge Minister Vinay Kulkarni and others will be the guests, while MLA Prasad Abbayya will preside.

KSSDB Chairperson Shashikala Kavali told media persons here on Friday that 1.43 lakh kg of chilli worth Rs 2.37 crore was sold in last year's Chilli Mela, while the average price per kg was Rs 170. This time, more sales are expected, while average rate is expected to be between Rs 160 to Rs 250 per kg, she said.

KSSDB Managing Director Somashekhar Hollolli noted that proper publicity has been made about the Chilli Mela, and 150 stalls have been put up. Response from farmers is expected to the be good this time, as the yield is also good.

Less sowing

Horticulture Department Deputy Director Ramachandra Madiwalar stated that the target was to sow chilli on 37,000 hectares of land in the district this time, but the sowing has taken place on 28,000 hectares of land, due to continuous drought situation in recent years.

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