The chilli pepper, also popularly known as chillies in Australia, originated in Mexico. Chilli peppers have been a part of the human diet in the Americas since at least 7500 BC. There is archaeological evidence at sites located in a tropical lowland area of southwestern Ecuador that chilli peppers were domesticated more than 6000 years ago, the chilli grains show that peppers were among the oldest domesticated foods in the hemisphere and is one of the first cultivated crops in the Central and South Americas. After the Columbian Exchange, many cultivars of chilli pepper spread across the world, used for both food and traditional medicine. Approximately, 34.5 million tonnes of green chillies and 3.9 million tonnes of dried chillies are produced every year globally. Though there are only a few commonly used species, there are many cultivars and methods of preparing these chillies.
As of June 2020:
These vegetables are grown in almost all states of Australia. Nevertheless, production mainly occurs in Queensland. Some of the other regions where chillies are produced are Bowen, Bundaberg, Mildura and Carnarvon.
For the year ending June 2020, an additional 4,871 tonnes of dried chillies were imported, while 224 tonnes were exported.