India is both the largest producer and largest consumer of red chillies in the world. Chillies are the most common and prominent spice in India. It is used as an ingredient in various food recipes for the aroma and flavor. It is also consumed in the form of condiments, sauces, and pickles. Red chillies are either consumed raw or as a powder. It is said that they are rich in Vitamin C and have the capability to reduce cold and sinus problems.
About 36% of the total world production of chillies is contributed by India. Andhra Pradesh dominates the Indian market in cultivating almost 57% of the chillies grown in India. It produces the finest varieties of chillies as compared to the chillies grown in other parts of India.
Guntur – The Largest Red Chilli Market In Asia
Peak Harvesting Season
December to May
Annual Production of Chillies
Approximately 8,20,000 tons in a year
Types of Chilli cultivated in Guntur
- 334 chilli
- Teja chilli
- Guntur Sannam – S4 Type
- 273 chilli
- Super 10’s
- Number 5’s
- 341 chilli
- 274 chilli
- Devanoor Deluxe
The Warehouses in the Guntur chilli market are spread around a plot area of 15 acres. They are about 30 to 40 in numbers and are huge in size. The area is further subdivided into smaller sections, managed by each individual dealer. In each section, thousands of sacks of dried red chillies are stacked together for the traders to come in and bargain with the dealers who represent the farmers.
Inside the warehouses, the traders either store the whole chillies or grind the chillies to powder as per the demand. The chillies are generally kept in cold storage to prevent damage due to the high temperatures during the summers. And also to meet the off-season demands for consumption and exports.
Before grinding the chillies are dried outside in the sun. Nowadays modern techniques of drying are being utilized in the form of air blown driers, solar driers, and tray driers. These methods reduce the drying period of time which usually takes 10 – 15 hours.
The sacks should be stored at least 50-60 cm away from the wall while stocking inside the cold storage. Care must be taken to prevent any damage due to the moisture content of the warehouse floors or racks. Protective arrangements should be made to prevent attacks from insects and other small animals. The preferred duration for cold storage is 8 – 10 months.
The chilli markets open early in the morning with the dealers and the farmers occupying their individual sections. Numerous sacks are piled up in each of the sections, ready for the trade. With the commencement of the trade, the air is filled up with the pungent smell of the chillies. The traders come in and bargain with the dealers on the quantities they want to buy and the price they are willing to pay. Once the deal is settled, the sacks with the required weight are handed over to the traders.
Before the final settlement, the sacks are cut open to inspect the chillies. After thorough invigilation of the quality, the sacks are selected for purchase. The initials of the trader are painted on the batch of sacks and marked as bought.
Each farmer is said to produce approximately 100 – 200 kilograms of chillies in their individual farm plots. Every day they carry their individual sacks into the market for the trade. The packaging has to be done with care, excluding the diseased, discoloured and deformed ones. The sacks or gunny bags should be clean and dry.
The farmers often travel long distances to arrive at the market. Certain traders prefer purchasing directly from the farmers and some prefer interacting with the dealers for the purchase.
Every year a substantial quantity of Guntur chillies are exported to countries like Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, Indonesia, Australia, USA, UK and many more. Guntur.
Currently, there are more than 190 traders of red chillies in Guntur. The unique pungent smell, colour, and taste of Guntur chillies along with the high-quality standards, are the preferred selection and highly demanded by the countries worldwide. The traders’ harp on competitive pricing strategies and industry best standards packaging to magnify the export business model across the world.
Red chillies are now steadily occupying a special place in the ingredients section of many cuisines in the world. The pungent aroma with a spicy tinge of the chillies is gaining popularity among several countries. If consumed in appropriate recommended quantities, red chillies have a special capacity to absorb fats, proteins, and carbohydrates essential to improve our digestive system and respiratory system.