New Mexico chili pepper farmers see more foreign competition


LEMITAR, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico Chile Association wants local chili pepper farmers to become state-certified amid more competition from foreign growers.

Association president Glen Duggins told KOAT-TV in Albuquerque, New Mexico, this week farmers are seeing more foreign imports from as far as China or India.

He says some of the imported chili peppers are sold under the New Mexico name.

Meanwhile, Duggins says state farmers are moving to other more profitable crops.

State officials are pressuring local farmers to get their peppers the “Certified New Mexico Chile” label by the New Mexico Chile Association.

There are only five large farms who are certified out of about 20 across New Mexico, according to the association.

Farms that make less than $10,000 per year do not have to pay to be certified. Farmers that make more do have to pay and their fee depends on how much they are producing.