Booklet No. 231
Condiments and Spices Production: CSPS - 6
VI. Management after Planting
Vll. Manures and Fertilizers
VIII. Training and Pruning
X. Insect pest Control
XI. Disease Control
XII. Harvesting. Processing and yield
XIII. Economics of Cultivation.
Black pepper is an important spice cultivated not only in India but also in soutl1 east Asia and Brazil. India ranks first in pepper production. It exports nearly a quarter of its production to the world market. In India it is widely cultivated in Kerala. It is used as flavouring agent for the food and also have a good medicinal value. This booklet gives all the details of pepper cultivation.
K. T. Chandy, Director, Agricultural & Environmental Education
Black pepper (Piper nigrum) is the most widely used spice. It is dried small round berries of perennial evergreen climbing vine. It belongs the family Piperaceae. It is also known as "King of Spices" and is a native of the western ghat forests. Pepper is widely cultivated in Kerala and some parts of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. About 96 % of area and production of pepper is in Kerala. From here only, pepper was taken to other parts of the country, especially to some of the north-eastern states, Assam and adjoining Myanmar . Besides India. it is also cultivated in Indonesia, Malaysia. Brazil and Sri Lanka.
The present total world production of pepper is estimated about 1,40,000 tonnes. During 1981-82, India's share was 29,000 tonnes and this was further increased to 50,000 tonnes during 1989. India earns a foreign exchange of Rs. 240 crores by exporting pepper. Though India ranks first in the pepper production, only 30% of our production is supplied to the world market. The average pepper production is about 230 kg per hectare, where as Brazil produces 3,060 kg per hectare and Malaysia 2,650 kg. The Indian pepper is considered to be superior in quality compared to those produced in other pepper growing countries and consequently, it fetches a higher price in the international market.
Pepper is used as a flavouring agent for food stuff and also as a carminative. The alkaloid piperine forms 5 to 8% by weight of the seed, and the volatile pepper oil form 1 to 3% of the unripe berries.
Pepper is a plant of humid tropics requiring adequate rain fall and humidity. The hot and humid climate of sub-mountaneous tracts (altitude up to 1000 m) is ideal for its growth. Though an annual rainfall of 250 cm is ideal for the proper growth of the crop, it can also come up well in low rainfall areas if the distribution pattern of is conducive. The pepper plant tolerates a minimum temperature of l0oC and the maximum of 40o, the optimum being 20 to 30oC.
Pepper can be grown in a wide range of soils, though light porous and well drained soil rich in organic content is preferred. Water stagnation in the soil even for a very short period is detrimental to the plant Therefore, sloppy lands should be preferred for pepper cultivation than plain lands where drainage facilities may be inadequate. When the plant is grown on sloppy land the slopes forming southwards should be avoided in order to prevent the scorching effect of the sun.
Being indigenous to Kerala (indigenous also to Assam and North East) a large number of varieties both wild as well as cultivated are found. However, among the cultivable varieties, only 10 varieties are having the qualities required for commercial cultivation. The important varieties of Kerala and the other southern states are Karimunda, Narayakodi, Kottanadan, Kuthiravally, Therumundi, Aymbiriyan, Uthirankotta, Balankotta, Kalluvally, etc. A new hybrid variety called Punniyoor-l has been evolved at the...