Black Pepper Farming in India – How to Grow Pepper

Black Pepper Farming in India - How to Grow Pepper

Here we discuss Black Pepper Farming methods. Black pepper (Family: Piperaceae) is a perennial vine widely used as a spice and medicine for its berries. India is a major producer, consumer, and exporter of black pepper in the world. Farmers mainly cultivate black pepper in Kerala, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu and to a limited extent in Maharashtra, northeastern states, and Andaman and the Nicobar Islands. Kerala and Karnataka constitute a significant part of the production of black pepper in the country. 

Black pepper farming operations require reliable equipment for every Indian farmer; Hence, we suggest the New Holland tractor, which is frequently used in farming. Along with this, the Sonalika 60 tractor is also excellent.

Black Pepper Farming Process:-

1. Climate and soil

Black pepper is a plant of the humid tropics that requires high humidity and rainfall. Therefore, the humid and hot climate of the sub-hill areas of the Western Ghats is the best for its farming. It thrives between 20° north and south latitudes and up to 1500 m above sea level. The best temperature is 23°C -32°C, with an average of 28°C.

For root growth, the optimum soil temperature is 26°C to 28°C. It considers that well-distributed annual rainfall is 125cm -200cm for ideal pepper spice. Farmers can grow black pepper in a wide range of soils with a pH of 5.5 to 6.5, although it grows well in red laterite soils in its natural habitat.

2. Varieties

Most cultivated species are monoecious (male and female flowers found in the same spike), although sex expression varies from full male and full female. Farmers cultivate more than 75 black pepper varieties in India. Kalamunda is the most popular variety in Kerala. Other important varieties are Empirion (Wayanad), Neelamundi (Idukki), Kuthiravali (Kozhikode and Idukki), Kottanadan (South Kerala), Narayankodi (Central Kerala), Balankota, Kallivalli (North Kerala), Malligesara and Uddagare (Karnataka). Kuthiravali and Balankota show the habit of alternate bearing. In terms of quality, Cottanadan has the highest oleoresin (17.8%) content, followed by Empyrion (15.7%).

Seventeen enriched varieties of black pepper have been discharged for cultivation. Panniyur-1, Panniyur-3 and Panniyur-8 are hybrids developed at the Panniyur (Kerala Agricultural University), Pepper Research Station. IISR Girimunda and IISR Malabar Excel are the two hybrids delivered from the Indian Institute of Spices Research, Kozhikode, Kerala.

Production of Rooted Cuttings

1. Traditional Method

Runner shoots from high-yielding and healthy vines are coiled onto a wooden peg at the vine’s base to prevent shoots from coming into contact with soil and striking roots.  You separate the runner shoots from the vine during February-March. Subsequent trimming of the leaves, cuttings of 2 to 3 nodes either in nursery beds or filled with potting mix (soil, sand and field compost 2) is applied in polythene bags: 1:1 ratio). Adequate shade has to be provided, and polythene bags will have to be irrigated frequently. The cuttings are ready for planting during May-June.

 2. Rapid Multiplication Method

A propagation technique that is generated in Sri Lanka and modified for adoption in India. In this method, a trench is 45 cm depth, 30 cm width and convenient length is made. First, the trench is filled with a rooting medium consisting of forest soil, sand and field manure ratio 1:1:1. Then, the split parts of bamboo or split parts of PVC pipes are fixed at a 45-degree angle by placing the split part facing up on sturdy support on one side of the trench.

Planting

Farmers generally cut the pepper plant with the onset of the southwest monsoon. Farmers can plant the black pepper during the northeast monsoon, wherever it is regular and well distributed. When farmers grow chilies as a net crop, pits of 0.5m cubes spaced 2.5 x 2.5 m apart are dug, and erythrina stem cuttings of 2m length or their two-year-old saplings are planted at the beginning of the monsoon. When the onset of regular rains, farmers cut the 2 or 3 root plants around the standard base nearly 30 cm away.

The pepper cuttings have to be planted at a distance of 100 to 120cm from the tree’s trunk, which is about 8m – 9m high. Initially, you can allow vines to climb a pole or pole about 2m high, tied to the trunk in an oblique position. After a year, when the vine has attained sufficient length, you can detach it from the temporary pole, and the lower leaves can be cut. First, farmers should prepare the 15cm deep and wide narrow trench from the vine’s base to the base of the tree’s trunk. 

You can place the vine in the trench so that the growing tips tie it to the trunk. At the same time, the other parts of the vine are covered with soil. As a result, a small ridge is formed on top of the trench, which should not be disturbed when intercultural operations on the palm.

The tractor is an important part of black pepper cultivation; Thus, we recommend the Kubota tractor in this farming process. Also, you can use the Powertrac 439 Tractor. Along with this, Powertrac 434 Plus is also the best tractor.

For more information regarding black pepper spice farming, stay tuned with us.

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