Chilli is one of the most important commercial crops of India. It is grown almost throughout the country. There are more than 400 different varieties of chillies found all over the world. It is also called as hot pepper, cayenne pepper, sweet pepper, bell pepper, etc. It’s botanical name is “Capsicum annuum”. The world’s hottest chilli “Naga Jolokia” is cultivated in hilly terrain of Assam in a small town Tezpur, India. Different varieties are grown for vegetables, spices, condiments, sauces and pickles. Chilli occupies an important place in Indian diet. It is an indispensable item in the kitchen, as it is consumed daily as a condiment in one form or the other.
Area of cultivation:
India is the world's largest producer, consumer and exporter of chilies in the world. India also has the largest area under chilies in the world. Chilies are the most common spice cultivated in India. Chilies are valued principally for their high pungency and color. Almost all the states of India produce the crop. The Indian Chilli growing states are Andhra Pradesh (46%), Karnataka (15%), Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, West Bengal, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu. Indian Chilli can be grown during the entire year at one or the other part of the country. However, the major arrival season extends from February to April.
There are several varieties of Indian Chilli and the most popular among these are Sannam, 334, 273, Byadgi, Wonder Hot, Mundu, Teja, Yellow Chilies & Tomato Chilies. The crop planting starts from August and extends till October. While, the harvesting begins from December with 5% of the arrivals usually reported in this month. The peak arrivals are reported in February to March. India is the largest consumer of Chilli in the world. Around 90% of India's production is consumed within the country.
India exports around 80000 – 100000 tons of chilies a year. India exports chilies in the form of dried chilies, Chilli powder, picked chilies and Chilli oleoresin. Indian Chilli is mainly exported to USA, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, the Middle East and the Far East.
Factors Influencing Chilli Markets:
The commodity displays high volatility, with the prices heavily dependent on season, production in different producing tracts spread across the country, demand from exporters and the stock available at the cold storages. The prices of the major chilli varieties sold in the country are correlated with each other. As a result, the players in other varieties can also hedge their risks through this single variety.