Shri Nagappa ji Hampali, born in 1947 in Karnataka in Dry Chilli growing area, started his journey as a Dry Chilli trader with his firm “Hampali Traders” in 1968 with a small sum. Back then in Karnataka, dry chilli was only grown in the Haveri area with the main village being Byadgi.
From 1975, farmers from the Hubli area also started growing them with the main villages being Kundgol and Annigeri. He played an important role in helping Hubli area farmers by educating them on how to grow quality produce, and farmers still recollect his efforts.
During the 1990’s he was supplying to the Bellary area. He saw that this area is well irrigated and was good for growing Dry chillies, hence he provided seeds to farmers of Madurai camp and 12 nos camp to grow byadgi dry chilli. And today Bellary is the biggest chilli growing area in Karnataka. He made a team of experienced people and stationed them to focus only on Bellary’s purchase. This strategy helped him to build a strong purchase chain, which was noticed by major Spice / Masala companies in India. And he replicated this success in the Raichur area also.
In the decade of 2000, Karnataka saw the start of building cold storage infrastructure to help chillies retain their quality for a longer duration. Here he saw a big opportunity for the “Just in time” model. In this model, instead of Spice companies need to purchase their all year stock in season time(in just 4 months), he created a model for them to purchase as and when they require it throughout the year. This helped Spice companies to plan their stock and finance effectively. He was able to make this model successful due to his vast network of farmers, he made a database of farmers whose produce is at cold storage, and as and when he got requirements he approached the farmers.
Other than purchasing directly from farms, Nagappa ji also purchases from APMC mandi for world-famous Local Byadgi chilli. Farmers growing this chilli are marginal and own an average of 4 acres of land and yielding is also low, so it is not viable to do direct farm purchase. He has been purchasing at Hubli APMC mandi since the 1980’s and Hubli is his head office. For the processing of chillies he has built a spacious facility, check the below video (watch this video in HD).
In the year 2019, Gadag APMC also started an electronic tendering system, previously it was on manual bidding. To support this small but emerging APMC mandi he started to purchase at this market, as the electronic tender system was new, he educated commission agents and farmers on best practices.
In 2017, to give back to the Dry Chilli ecosystem, he launched a program for Digitization, which in 2022 launched as India’s first dedicated website for Dry Chilli at www.SpiceExtra.in . SpiceExtra is a platform for Research and Development(R&D) initiatives in Dry Chilli. It will focus on Digitizing – Price and Arrivals, Crop survey, Assaying, and Branding.
“Focus on quality, quantity will follow” – is philosophy of Shri Nagappa ji Hampali