What is the Red Chilli India connection?
Chilli is the dried ripe fruit of the genus Capsicum. This shrub provides a lot of products like red peppers, cayenne, paprika and chillies and sweet pepper (bell pepper) a mild form with large inflated fruits. It is believed to have originated in South America, which is why Mexican diet is famous (or infamous?) for its fiery red spicy dishes.
It is believed to have been introduced in India by the Portugese who came here as traders at the beginning of 16th century. Nowadays, it has assumed a significant role in most of India’s culinary delicacies. Its fame has spread far and wide and hence is cultivated almost in all regions of the earth, except the cold ones.
Red Chilli in India is grown in deep loamy fertile soil with appropriate moisture content. It is often sown in the months of mid April and June owing to the hot and humid climate which is suitable for Chilli cultivation. India leads the list of countries with maximum red chilli production. We are closely followed by other countries like China, Ethiopia, Myanmar, Mexico, Vietnam, Peru, Pakistan, Ghana, and Bangladesh. Astonishingly, these 10 countries account for more than 80% of the world’s red chilli production.
Red Chilli production in India is widespread. However, there are few regions which surpass others in terms of the quality and quantity of production. These are Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Orissa and Rajasthan. The spices India board keeps a track on the production and export of Red Chilli in India and the figures are often astonishing.
The export of crushed chilli India rose by an impeccable 12% over the last decade or so. This is inspite of a surging domestic consumption. The scale of our production can only be realized when we understand that almost 90% of the red chilli produced in India is consumed within the country itself. The remaining 10% accords us with the coveted position of the world’s largest exporter. Indian Chilli is mainly exported to USA, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, the Middle East and the Far East.
Some of the most common varieties of red chilli in India are Sannam, 334, 273, Byadgi, Wonder Hot, Mundu, Teja, Kashmir Chilli, Yellow Chilies & Tomato Chilies. Although, these different varieties find a lot of takers in different parts of the world, there are some factors which determine the viability of the Indian Red Chilli market.
- The price and production is completely dependent on the prevailing climatic conditions. With rainfall becoming increasingly unpredictable, farmers are facing a dilemma whether to persist with red chilli production in India or move on to other crops which are less susceptible to risks.
- Stiff competition from other global players is forcing Indian exporters to cut down prices which in turn, directly affect the farmers.
All said and done, India still remains the most trustworthy market to buy chilli and thus chilli suppliers India are always in high demand. Most of them stock sufficient quantities of various varieties and hence getting the right one for you won’t be much of a problem.
– Written by Jaga Salai, a food technologist, working as Production Manager in Alobha Exim