Bright sunlight is essential for drying red chilli. After the harvest, farmers spread the chilli out in the fields on plastic sheets.
Farmers have to make sure that the chilli is dried evenly on all sides and sorts the chilli for quality. They have to be on alert for clouds or sudden rains that might destroy their harvest. If the weather threatens the chillies, they wrap up the chilli inside the plastic sheets and leave those on the fields.
When the sun is back, they unwrap the chillies again for even drying. Sunny afternoons ensure good dryness which also significantly increases the pungency of the spice. Different qualities of red chilli commands prices ranging from Tk4200 to Tk4500 per maund. The price, of course, fluctuates with the time of the season and demand. Usually, the price is higher at the end of the season.
Chilli harvesting season lasts for two months - April and May. Everyone in the family, from the children to the elderly, gets to work harvesting the crop. During peak time, all open spaces are used to dry the chilli. From a bird's eye view, this creates a stunning landscape and one is inclined to compare the view to "The Field of the Embroidered Quilt."
These pictures were taken at Panchagarh, a region north of the country.