RED CHILLIESIntroductionChilli (botanically known as Capsicum annuum L.; Capsicum frutescene L.), also called redpepper belongs to the genus capsicum, under the solanaceae family. They are believed to haveoriginated from South America. Chillies are referred to as chillies, chile, hot peppers, bellpeppers, red peppers, pod peppers, cayenne peppers, paprika, pimento, and capsicum indifferent parts of the world. However, in general the chillies are the smaller-sized, more pungenttypes, while the somewhat larger, mildly to moderately pungent types are capsicums. Thepungency is due to the active principle `capsicin’ contained in the skin and the septa of the fruit.Chillies are valued principally for their high pungency and for their colour. Chilli forms anindispensable culinary spice in several parts of the world. It is also used in beverages and in thepreparation of medicines.Agronomy:Climate, soil and Rainfall:The chilli crop is grown from almost the sea-level up to an altitude of 1,500 -2100 meters intropical and subtropical regions, with an annual rainfall of 60-150 cm. Chillies are grown in varietyof soils provided they are well drained, well aerated and rich in organic matter. Black soils thatretain moisture for long periods are suitable for rain fed crop whereas well-drained chalka soilsand sandy loams are good under irrigated condition. Chilli crop is sensitive to cold and frost and itrequires warmer climatic conditions as compared to tomatoes. The crop requires around 4-5months for complete maturity that is around 120-160 days with an optimum temperature of 20-27degree Celsius. In India, chillies are now grown in almost all parts. Very high rainfall during itsgrowth is harmful. When grown in the hot weather or in lower-rainfall tracts, it is cultivated as anirrigated crop. The winter crop is planted from July to September and the summer crop inFebruary and March. Whereas these are the two important seasons for its cultivation, a thirdcrop, known as the mid-season (May-June) crop, is also taken in certain parts of the country. Thechilly plant lasts for one season only. It is plucked 3 to 4 times in the season. The crop becomesready for harvesting in about 3.5 months after planting. The picking of ripe fruits continues forabout 2 months and about 6-10 pickings are taken. If there is a demand for green chillies, the firstone or two pickings are taken for this purpose. The summer crop is wholly disposed of as greenchillies. Ripe fruits are picked along with stalks and are heaped indoors for 3 or 4 days for thepartially ripe fruit to develop the proper red colour. They are then dried in the sun for 4 to 5 days,depending upon weather conditions and are graded for size and colour before marketing.Harvest Chart JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC INDIA MOROCCO SRILANKA TANZANIAUses of Chilli:The spice has innumerable uses for commercial, nutritional as well as medicinal. It is used forpreparation of oleoresin that has great export potential and demand in the world market. Chilliesare excellent source of Vitamin, A, B, C and E with minerals like molybdenum, manganese,
folate, potassium, thiamin, and copper. In addition, medically used as pain killer, Antibiotic as wellas included in Ayurvedic medicines. The medicinal properties in chillies help to combat variousdisease like cancer, heart attack and Lung diseases.World ScenarioApart from India, South Africa (South Africa, Malawi and Zimbabwe), China, Pakistan and Mexicoare other major producing and exporting countries. These are mostly low or medium pungencyvarieties like Indian S4 chillies, Tiensin Chinese chillies or Pakistan Dandicut chillies. Malawi,Zimbabwe and Uganda export limited quantities of the highly pungent "East African Birdseyetype, and China exports some high pungency types (Fukien). India faces competition mainly fromChina and Pakistan who offer chillies at low prices in international markets.Imports as wholechillies have fallen in the world market as exports of chilli powder and oleoresin have grown.There are a number of factories in India, Pakistan and China set up in collaboration withmultinational spice companies, which are now able to produce chilli powder to meet EC andASTA hygiene standards. Among the European Union countries, UK is by far the most importantimporter of chillies, reflecting its colonial heritage and large ethinic community, with theNetherlands the second largest importer. The world demand is expected to go up, consequentlythere expected to be a great scope for export of chillies. Demand is growing for value addedproducts using chillies such as chilli paste, curry powders and other sauces for the conveniencefood industry. Some of these are produced at origin but stringent hygiene and quality control levelmust be maintained. In the extraction industry, there is always demand for high capsaicin content(over1%) chillies, as this offers extractors a direct saving on unit costs of extraction. The bestopportunities for new suppliers lie in production of selected varieties of high capcaisin chillies forthe extraction market, and in supplying niche retail markets for selected high colour highpungency whole chillies.Indian ScenarioProductionIndia is the world’s largest producer, consumer and exporter of chillies in the world. India also hasthe largest area under chillies in the world. Chillies are the most common spice cultivated in India.It is grown nearly in all parts of the country, hills and plains. Chilli production is spread throughoutthe length and breadth of the country, with almost all the states producing this crop. It can also begrown during the entire year at one or the other part of the country. However, the major arrivalseason extends from February to April. The crop planting starts from August and extends tillOctober. While, the harvesting begins from December with 5% of the arrivals usually reported inthis month. The peak arrivals are reported in February to March. The market remains active tillMay. The major producers are Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, MP, Orissa, Maharashtra and TamilNadu. Andhra Pradesh alone commands around 53.27% of the chilli production in India. Themajor chilly growing districts of Andhra Pradesh are Guntur, Warangal, Khammam, Krishna andPrakasham. Chilli has well established spot markets. Guntur, Warangal, Khammam in AndhraPradesh; Raichur, Bellary in Karnataka are the major spot markets at the production centers. Asper the latest statistics, India produced 1009481 tons of dry chilli during the year 2005-06.Production Shares of Major Chilli Producing States AREA PRODUCTIONState Area (Ha) %Share Production (MT) %ShareAndhra Pradesh 171450 25.15 537710 53.27Gujarat 31650 4.64 37840 3.75Karnataka 69880 10.25 94500 9.36Madhya Pradesh 46660 6.85 42480 4.21
Maharashtra 99300 14.57 51214 5.07Orissa 75120 11.02 63290 6.27Punjab 9882 1.45 15888 1.57Rajasthan 17720 2.60 17530 1.74Tamilnadu 49033 7.19 31830 3.15West Bengal 51957 7.62 60727 6.02Utter Pradesh 17340 2.54 16119 1.60Assam 14690 2.16 9490 0.94Others 26930 3.95 30863 3.06Total : 681612 100 1009481 100India’s Production of Chillies Year Area (hectares) Production (tons) 1999-00 977530 1056000 2000-01 884040 1046220 2001-02 881290 1113090 2002-03 827930 849250 2003-04 794080 1273860 2004-05 771240 1237781 2005-06 681612 1009481 Source: Spices Board, India (latest available as of Feb 2008)Guntur is Asia’s largest market for chillies. The marketing season begins in the first week ofMarch and peaks during the month of April, and closes by the middle of May. Around 35-40% ofthe crop that arrives here is estimated to be stored in the cold storages present at Guntur andsurrounding areas. Normally, about 80 lakh to one crore bags of chillies (each bags carriesapproximately 35 to 50 kgs) is traded during the season in Guntur market alone. The marketplayers estimate that trade worth nearly Rs 500 crores takes place in Guntur during season.Besides the highly popular Guntur Sannam (S-4) variety, other hybrid varieties like Wonder Hot,Ankur, Namdhari, and Indam 5 are traded in this particular market. It is estimated that there are a100 odd exporters in this market. It is estimated that around 25-30% of the chilly crop is used forpowder preparation, with the branded chilly powder manufacturers accounting for around 5% ofthe total volume.Imports and ExportsIndia’s chilly exports are on a positive note currently and chilli exports ranks first as compared toother spices. The exports of chillies has increased significantly from 2003-04 onwards. However,the country imports very small quantity of chilli. India exports chillies in the form of dried chillies,chilly powder, picked chillies and chilly oleoresins. Indian chili is mainly exported to USA, SriLanka, Bangladesh, the Middle East and the Far East. The highly pungent "Sannam" & the mildlypungent mundu chilies are internationally popular varieties. India also offers gospurea chlli.Chillies are exported as whole, with or without stalks & with clipped stalks and fresh and driedcapsicum and as powder, oils and oleoresins. Byadgi chilli grown in Dharwad district of Karnatakaand Tomato chillies of Warangal, Andhra Pradesh are demanded for their high colour value.India’s Chilli Exports
Year Quantity (tons) Value (Rs cr) 1999-00 63,591 254.72 2000-01 62,448 229.73 2001-02 69,998 252.44 2002-03 81,022 315.15 2003-04 86,575 366.88 2004-05 138,073 499.01 2005-06 113,174 403.01 2006-07 148,500 807.75India’s Chillies Imports Year Quantity (MT) Value (Rs cr) 1999-2000 618 4.97 2000-01 449 4.69 2001-02 1,114 4.31 2002-03 1,638 10.25 2003-04 2,138 12.24 2004-05 680 3.02 2005-06 935 4.50 Trade Characteristics • Well-established spot markets at Guntur, Warangal, Khammam in Andhra Pradesh; Raichur, Bellary in Karnataka are the major price reference points, as these are based at the production centers. • The trade channel involves several members viz., a village level trader, commission agent, wholesaler, retailer, agents for exporters and exporters. The commodity changes hands several times, exposing all these members to price risk. • Guntur is Asias largest market for chillies. Normally, about 80 lakh to one crore bags of chillies, weighing approximately 35 to 50 kgs is traded during the season at Guntur market alone. The marketing season begins in the first week of February, peaks during the month of April, and closes by the middle of May. • The market players estimate that trade worth nearly Rs 500 crores takes place in Guntur during season. During the peak arrival period around 0.8 - 1 lakh bags of 35-50 kg is traded here daily. • Around 35-40% of the crop that arrives at Guntur, is estimated to be stored in the cold storages present at Guntur and surrounding areas. Market Influencing Factors • 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 chilly 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.Warehouses & LocationsNCDEX/NCMSL accredited warehouses are available at locations likePls. visit http://www.ncdex.com/downloads/WH_List_10012006.doc for latest NCDEX list ofaccredited warehouse at different locationsMCX accredited warehouses are available at locations like:Pls. visit http://www.nbhcindia.com/Designated_Warehouses.pdf for latest list ofMCX list of accredited warehouse at different locationsDELIVERY CENTERS:NCDEX:Main Delivery Centre: Guntur (up to the radius of 50 kms from the municipal limits)Additional Delivery Centre: Warangal (up to the radius of 50 Kms from the municipal limits)MCX:Main delivery centres: GunturContract Specifications:NCDEX: Chilli (Paala) traded as LCA 334 Medium Best exBasis warehouse Guntur inclusive of all taxesBasis Price Ex-Guntur exclusive of all taxesUnit of Trading 5 MTQuotation/Base Value Rs Per QuintalTick size Re.1.00Delivery Unit 9 MT with tolerance limit of 500kgMCX:Basis LC334 Chilly New CropBasis Price Ex-Guntur exclusive of all taxes
Unit of Trading 3 MTQuotation/Base Value Rs Per QuintalTick size Re.1.00Delivery Unit 9 MT with tolerance limit of 500kgAppendices:VarietiesThe varieties under cultivation differ in the size, shape, colour and pungency of the fruits. Thefruits may be thin and long large and thick, short and bell-shaped, small and round. The unripefruits may be green, creamy, yellow or orange. Similarly, the ripe fruits may be of different shadesof red. They variety with bell-shaped fruits is the least pungent and is cooked as an ordinaryvegetable. Capsicum annum and G. frutescens are the two principle species grown in India andthe varieties of the former constitute the chief source of the dry chilli of commercial use. Theworld and India as a nation boasts of a bewildering variety of chillies. The major varieties of Indiaare Birds Eye Chilli (Dhani), Byadagi (Kaddi), Ellachipur (Sannam S4 Type), Guntur Sannam S4Type, Hindur S7, Jwala, Kanthari White, Kashmir Chilli etc. Sannam S 4 variety is most popularvariety, with its annual production estimated to be around 3 lakh tons a year. It is also the majorvariety that is exported.Utilization and DemandAll chillies contain a pungent principle made up of capsaicinoids. Dry chillies (or pungentcapsicums) are widely used throughout the world to add pungency to food. Chilli oleoresin is usedin the food processing and pharmaceutical industry. Fresh chillies are also an important exportitem but they are considered a vegetable not a spice. Chilli has two important commercialqualities. If some varieties are famous for red colour because of the pigment casanthin, othersare known for biting pungency attributed by capsaicin. India is the only country rich in manyvarieties with different quality factors. There is wide range of products based on whole or groundchilli entering world trade. The terminology for these products can be confusing, and definitionscan vary between and even within markets. Chillies are used in whole dried or chopped form oras a ground powder. Chilli paste and chilli sauce are also frequently sold. Oil and oleoresin is themost important value added product of chillies. The key parameters for any dried chilli productsare pungency level (measured in % capsaicin or Scoville Units) and color (measured in ASTAcolor units). In addition, size and appearance may be important. Producers should be sure thatthey understand exactly what the market requires.