Tips to Start Pepper Farming Business

Tips to Start Pepper Farming Business

Tips to Start Pepper Farming Business: Pepper is one of the oldest spice crops. It is consumed throughout the world more than any other spice, as black, white, and green peppercorns.

India is a major exporter and there is long established tradition of commercial cultivation by smallholders.

1. English name of Pepper:

Black pepper, white pepper, green pepper, peppercorn, Madagascar pepper

Botanical name: Piper nigrum
Family: Piperaceae, the black pepper family

Pepper Farming BusinessPepper Farming BusinessPepper Farming Business

Tips to Start Pepper Farming Business

2. Description of Pepper

Pepper plants are climbers which grow to a height or length of 10 m or more.

When its main stem is established, it grows lots of side shoots to create a bushy column.

The plants form short roots, called adventitious roots, which connect to surrounding supports.

Although pepper is cultivated in many tropical regions.

It is native to Kerala State in India where it still occurs wild in the mountains.

Leaves – arranged alternately on the stems.

Tips to Start Pepper Farming Business

They are shaped like almonds and taper towards the tip.

They are dark green and shiny above but paler green below.

Flowers – grow in clusters along flowering stalks known as spikes.

Between 50 to 150 whitish to yellow-green flowers are produced on a spike.

Tips to Start Pepper Farming Business

Fruits – the flowers develop into round, berry-like fruits.

There may be 50-60 fruits on each spike.

They grow to a diameter of 4 to 6 mm, each containing a single seed.

Fruits are green at first but they turn red as they ripen.

These fruits are picked when either green or red to produce black and white pepper.

Tips to Start Pepper Farming Business

3. Varieties of Pepper:

Other species exist that are also known as pepper or peppercorns.

And are used in a similar way to black pepper. Indian long pepper, Piper longum, is one example.

It has a milder flavour than black pepper.

It is native to Assam through to Myanmarhttps, and is a cultivated crop in the drier regions of India.

Tips to Start Pepper Farming Business

Pink pepper is obtained from a plant called Schinus terebinthifolius.

Otherwise known as the Brazilian pepper tree.

This plant grows as a tree and is in a different botanical family to black and long pepper.

It is native to South and Central America.

Its pinkish-red fruits often enter European markets where it is used as a black pepper-like flavoring.

Peppercorns should not be confused with chilli peppers from the Capsicum genus.

Tips to Start Pepper Farming Business

4. Marketing Process of Pepper:

Official trade statistics make no distinction between the different forms of pepper.

But production of peppercorns has doubled in the last 40 years.

The pepper was cultivated on 193,000 hectares of land to produce 60,000 metric tons of peppercorns.

The state of Katsina is the original home of pepper in Nigeria.

It grows nearly 95% of the country’s pepper, with the remaining being grown in Karnaturu and other parts of the northern Nigeria.

Small amounts are also grown in the southern parts for domestic used.

Much of this pepper is exported, particularly to industrially developed countries.

These consume 80% of all pepper grown in the world. India exports to more than 120 countries.

Tips to Start Pepper Farming Business

5. Cultivation and harvest:

In India, for instance, pepper is grown under a variety of agricultural schemes ranging from home gardens.

Mixed crops in coffee plantations and monocrops on slopes and in valleys.

Plantings are propagated by cuttings.

Land is cleared, tilled and hoed, and hardwood supports are placed at intervals in the ground.

Cuttings, once rooted, are planted close to the supports.

As the stems grow, they climb the supports.

After almost 3 years the plants are over 2 m tall and are bushy.

Tips to Start Pepper Farming Business

They start flowering at the onset of rains.

The fruits are picked by hand, and are harvested 6 to 8 times each season at 2 week intervals.

Pepper is a tropical vine with attractive heart-shaped leaves.

Which needs to be grown indoors in Nigeria.

With patience and good cultivation you can grow this as a houseplant to produce your own peppercorns.

Tips to Start Pepper Farming Business

6. Varieties and types:

There are more than 100 cultivars of pepper, with names such as ‘Balamcotta’, ‘Kalluvalli’ and ‘Cheria Kaniakadan’.

They are distinguished from each other in leaf shape and size and flowering and fruiting characteristics.

The same species is used to produce black, white and green peppercorns.

It is also used to produce pepper oil and oleoresin.

The oil is obtained by steam distillation of the fruits and the oleoresin by solvent extraction.

They give a much stronger flavor than the spice and are mainly used in convenience foods.

Tips to Start Pepper Farming Business

7. Harvesting and Storage of Pepper

To obtain pepper, fruiting spikes are harvested when fruits are fully grown but still green and shiny.

Fruit spikes are left in heaps overnight for brief fermentation.

The next morning, the mass of spikes are usually spread out on bamboo mats or concrete floors to dry in the sun for about 4 to 5 days.

Tips to Start Pepper Farming Business

They are raked regularly to help them dry out.

Another processing method is to blanch the spikes and dry on a flat-bed dryer which reduces the drying time to about 7 hours.

Drying causes fruits to drop off the spikes.

The fleshy outer layer of the fruit shrinks giving the characteristic crinkled appearance of black pepper.

Dried peppercorns are then bagged ready for sale.

Read on: How to Start Frozen Chicken and Turkey Business

8. White pepper:

White pepper fetches a higher market price.

To prepare it the fruit spikes are collected when slightly riper than for black pepper.

The spikes are lightly crushed, put in sacks and soaked for 7-10 days, preferably in slow running water.

The fleshy outer layer of the fruit disintegrates.

Fruits are then trampled loose from the spike and separated by washing and sieving.

The washed peppercorns are dried in the sun for 3-4 days, during which the white-cream colour develops.

Dried peppercorns are bagged and stored.

9. Green pepper:

Green pepper is made from immature green fruits.

They are dehydrated and bagged, or are preserved by bottling or canning in vinegar or brine.

It is used as a spice and can be ground or cracked as black and white pepper. Learn more, click her

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