China Loves Guntur Chilies—How Did That Happen?
Image Credit: Guntoor chilli | Instagram - @avexports2021

Indian chilies are known for their high pungency and are used in a variety of dishes in Indian cuisine, as well as in other cuisines around the world. Indian chilies are also used to produce a range of products, including chili powders, paprika, and chili-based sauces.

What are Guntur Chilies?  

Guntur Sannam Chilies, or Guntur Chilies S4, are a type of chili that is grown in Guntur, a district in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. The chili has a huge demand throughout the world, and Guntur district alone accounted for almost $640 million worth of chili exports in 2019–20, or half of India’s total. Guntur Sannam Chilies are the pride and joy of Andhra Pradesh’s spicy cuisine, and the province of Andhra Pradesh leads in its production, providing 46% of all chili produced in India.  

Why is the Guntur chili so popular in China? 

The demand for chili peppers is driven by their use in a variety of cuisines as well as by their perceived health benefits. Chili peppers contain capsaicin, which is believed to have a range of health benefits, including pain relief and weight loss. They are also rich in vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, vitamin A, and potassium. 

The Guntur Sannam type of chili that is especially popular in China is renowned for its unique flavor and spiciness. It is especially popular in Sichuan cuisine, where it is used to add a numbing and fiery flavor to dishes. Guntur Sannam Chilies are also used in the production of sauces, pastes, and even chili oils.

Guntur Sannam Chilies, in addition to their culinary applications, are used medicinally in China to treat a variety of ailments. However, it was not until the 19th century that Guntur Chilies S4 became popular in China, due to the fact that they were introduced there by Indian traders who were looking for new spices to add to their recipes.  

Chili Exports and Trade 

Guntur chilli has a huge export market | Instagram - @lakshmiprabhala


Chili peppers are an important agricultural commodity and are widely cultivated and traded around the world. India is one of the largest producers and exporters of chili peppers, along with China, Indonesia, and Mexico. Other major chili-producing countries include Turkey, Spain, and the United States.

In terms of international trade, chilies are primarily exported as fresh or dried whole peppers, as well as in processed forms such as flakes, powders, and pastes. Major export destinations for chili peppers include the United States, Europe, and Asia.

Although they themselves are the world's second-largest producer of chilies, China has become the largest exporter of India's red chilies. The Chinese have decided that India's chilies are better than their own because they are hotter and more flavorful. These chilies are also sought after by other countries in the region, such as Bangladesh, Thailand, and Sri Lanka. 

Government initiatives give the Guntur Chili an extra "kick"

In the past few years, China's demand for Indian chilies has doubled. This is due in large part to the opening of a new land-sea corridor and the signing of a new export protocol between the governments of China and India.

As part of its "One District, One Product" (ODOP) initiative, which seeks to cultivate established industrial hubs on the district level, the government of Andhra Pradesh has recently designated one product from each of the state's thirteen districts. Planned actions to realize the export potential of the respective products are also being prepared.There is little doubt that the ODOP has helped Indian producers discover new markets for their chili products. 

The initial phase of the Aatmanirbhar Bharat program saw the Ministry of Commerce give this chili a fillip by promoting 106 products across 103 districts. The initiative's hook was that each region would figure out what made it special and then build up its production and export capabilities to become a global powerhouse in that area. Guntur, the leading exporter of chilies in India, went with the obvious choice. 

Another solid push comes from the state government of AP, which has formed partnerships with major online retailers like Amazon, Flipkart, and Myntra. In addition, the government is providing funding and logistical support, such as shared production facilities, to help bring the production of the chosen products to a larger scale.  

In the long run, geo-tagging will be considered for the products, which can give them a competitive edge in international markets.  

Cultivation and Harvest of the Guntur Sannam

The cultivation of Guntur Sannam Chilies is a time-consuming and labor-intensive process. In terms of quantity, the best time to harvest Guntur Sannam is between the months of December and March. Roughly 280,000 metric tons of this variety are produced each year. 

  • The chilies are grown using the principles of zero-budget natural farming and require a warm and dry climate during the period of maturation.
  • The chilies are then harvested and dried in the sun outside the warehouse before grinding.  
  • After grinding, the chilies are ready to be exported to countries like China, where they are in high demand.
  • When it comes to production, the Guntur Sannam chili has some unusual needs. And, because of their susceptibility to disease, Guntur Sannam crops require extra TLC to ensure a healthy harvest free of pests.  

Spicy Guntur Sannam News! 

G.V.L. Narasimha Rao, a member of the Rajya Sabha, recently announced that the Guntur Agriculture Market Committee (AMC), also known as the Guntur chili market yard, would be relocated outside of the city. He also mentioned that the market yard would be relocated because of its central location, which has been causing issues for locals and visitors alike. The current market yard covers 56 acres, but the new one will cover 200 acres and feature full amenities for all parties involved.