Black Pepper Farming Guide:
Introduction of Black Pepper: – Black pepper is one of the popular spices and known as “king of spices”. This spice was originated from Western Ghats of India. In India, black pepper is mainly grown in Kerala, TamilNadu, Karnataka, Konkan, Pondicherry & Andaman and Nicobar Islands. India is #1 producer, consumer and exporter of black pepper in the world. Kerala itself produces 90% off total production of black pepper. This spice has good economic importance due to its earnings of exports from foreign exchange. This spice is also called as “Black gold” due to its international trade factor. This spice botanical name is “Piper nigrum” and belongs to the family of “Piperaceae”.
Health Benefits of Black Pepper:- Some of the health benefits of black pepper are as follows.
- Black pepper has anti-biotic properties.
- Black pepper Improves digestion.
- Black pepper stimulates appetite.
- Black pepper helps in weight loss.
- Black pepper may prevent gastro diseases.
- Black pepper prevents bacterial infections.
- Black pepper relieves cough & cold conditions.
- Black pepper relieves from flu & congestion.
- Black pepper helps in boosting metabolism.
- Black pepper helps in skin treatment.
- Black pepper is good for dental health.
- Black pepper may prevent skin related cancer.
Black Pepper Cultivating States in India:- Kerala, TamilNadu, Karnataka, Konkan region, Pondicherry & Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
Black Pepper Local Names in India:- Balck pepper (English), Kali mirch (Hindi), Miriyalu (Telugu), Karuppu milagu(Tamil),Kari Menasu (Kannada), Karutta kurumulagu (Malayalam), Mari (Gujarati), Golmorich (Bengali), Kala mire (Marathi), Kala maricha (Oriya), Kali mirch (Punjabi).
Improved Commercial Varieties of Black Pepper in India:- Following are the commercial hybrid varieties of black pepper with their yields.
- Panniyur 1: This variety yields about 1240 Kg/ha.
- Panniyur 2: This variety yields about 2600 Kg/ha.
- Panniyur 3: This variety yields about 1950 Kg/ha.
- Panniyur 4: This variety yields about 1270 Kg/ha.
- Panniyur 5: This variety yields about 1100 Kg/ha.
- Subhakara: This variety yields about 2350 Kg/ha.
- Sreekara : This variety yields about 2680 Kg/ha.
- Panchami : This variety yields about 2800 Kg/ha.
- Pournami : This variety yields about 2300 Kg/ha.
Climate Required for Black Pepper Farming:- Black pepper thrives best in tropical hot and humid climatic conditions. It requires about 200 cm of annual rainfall. The ideal temperature for its successful growth is between 10°C and 40°C. This spice can be successfully cultivated at 1400 m above sea level (msl).A dry spell of at least a month before flowering is needed for fruit set.
Soil Requirement for Black Pepper Farming:- Black pepper can be cultivated on wide variety of soils like red loam, clay loam and sandy loam soils. However, Virgin soils rich in humus (organic matter) content and well drained are ideal for black pepper cultivation. For better yield, soil should have pH value of 5.0 – 6.5.
Propagation in Black Pepper Farming:- In commercial black pepper farming , generally Black pepper propagation is done by vegetatively (by cuttings). However it can also propagated by seeds, as this process takes so long, It is not preferred method for commercial cultivation. In vegetative method of propagation, pepper cuttings with 2-3 nodes are made from vines are put bamboo basket (filled with soil) or raised in plastic bags during the month of March-April. These pepper cuttings will be ready for transplanting in the main field in about 3 months.
Planting Method in Black Pepper Farming:- Due to its climbing nature, black pepper plant needs some kind of support. In monocrop, the support might be a tree or any fixed pole (Standard).However, if you have trees in your field, these can be used as standard or support. Black pepper plants should be planted @ a distance of 3 to 4 m. Due to its climbing nature; pepper plant needs some kind of support. The support might be a tree or any fixed pole (Standard).However, If you have trees in your field, these can be used as standard or support. Black pepper plants should be planted @ a distance of 3 to 4 m. Pits with size of 0.5 m x 0.5 m x 0.5 m should be dug @ a distance of 25 to 30 cm away from support (standard). Just before monsoon starts, 2 to 3 rooted tree cuttings should be planted in the pits made in soil. Make sure at least 1 node of the plant cutting will go to underground and remaining should be 40 to 45 cm above ground level. Fill the pits with soil and 10 kg of well rotten manure (cow dung).In the initial stages, covering the plants with shade would be beneficial. Pits with size of 0.5 m x 0.5 m x 0.5 m should be dug @ a distance of 25 to 30 cm away from support (standard). Just before monsoon starts, 2 to 3 rooted tree cuttings should be planted in the pits made in soil. Make sure at least 1 node of the plant cutting will go to underground and remaining should be 40 to 45 cm above ground level. Fill the pits with soil and 10 kg of well rotten manure (cow dung).In the initial stages, covering the plants with shade would be beneficial.
Manures and Fertilizers in Black Pepper Farming:- Below are the manures and fertilizers in black pepper farming.
- 10 kg of FMY (well rotten cow dung or compost) should be applied per plant (preferred in April-May months).
- Ammonium Sulphate of 500 grams, super phosphate of 1 kg & muriate of potash of 100 grams should be applied per plant (preferred in August to Sep month).
- Slaked lime @ 500 grams per plant should be applied per plant in alternate years (preferred in April to May months).
- These manures and fertilizers should be applied at the depth of 12 to 15 cm @ a distance of 25 to 30 cm from base. It is required to well mix these manures and fertilizers in the soil with the help of fork or any other instruments.
Irrigation in Black Pepper Farming:- Frequent irrigation from Nov-Dec months till the end of March is recommended and thereafter, irrigation must be withheld till monsoon break In Black pepper cultivation, This will increase the pepper yield about 50%. Irrigation should be given @ interval of 1 weeks in winter and @ every 2 days during summer. Soil should be mulched with grass/dried leaves will retain some extent of moisture in the soil in hot summer season.
Weed Control in Black Pepper Farming:- 2 diggings should be given once in May to June months and again in Oct-Nov month. In black pepper cultivation, weeding and earthling should be done for better growth and yield. Because of this, soil aeration will be improved.
Training & Pruning in Black Pepper Farming: – In black pepper farming,Training should be carried in pepper growing vines and training on the supported trees is very highly preferred. Removing waste terminal shoot growth and hanging shoots are highly recommended.
Pests and Diseases in Black Pepper Farming:- The main pests found in black pepper farming are flea-beetle & scale insects. To control these pests, spray Dimecron 85 EC @ 4 tea spoonful in 1 kerosene tin full of water @ 12 to 14 days of interval.
Main diseases found in black pepper farming are slow wilt and quick wilt.
- To control the slow-wilt disease, drench the soil with 9 to 15 litres of solution of Ceresan wet in the strength of 1 gram/litre of water.
- To control the quick-wilt disease, spray the Blue Copper at the rate of 14 tea spoonful per 20 litre of water @ 12- 15 days interval.
Harvesting of Black Pepper:- Generally, Black pepper will be ready for harvesting when any one berry in cluster shows scarlet red colour. Black pepper berries will be ready for picking 6 months to 7 months of planting in the main field. Spikes can be harvested when almost 90 % of berries become matured. Usually harvesting starts from Nov and continues up to March month. Usually hand picking should be carried out.
Yield of Black Pepper:- 2 to 3 kg of berries per vine/year or 275 kg per hectare in India. Yield again depends on the variety cultivated and crop management practices.
Oil from Black Pepper:- Normally, pepper oil is obtained from stem distillation of powered berries. Yielding would be about 2 to 4 % oil. This pepper oleoresin is obtained from solvent extraction practice by using ground pepper.
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