Hot pepper has amazing health benefits; namely, it promotes a healthy heart, relieves joint pains, promotes weight loss, reduces cancer risk and fights flu, colds and fungal infections.
For this and many other reasons, it has become a popular crop and farmers are venturing into producing it for commercial reasons because of the vast market locally and internationally.
Daniel Kituzi, a hot pepper farming trainer, says making big money out of pepper farming depends on the type of pepper you have grown and the season one grows the pepper.
“Pepper grow best in warm weather, so, plant it only when all cold weather danger has passed. Small and unattractive pepper has zero market and this has made many most farmers run away from the business,” he adds.
Types of pepper
- Cayenne pepper or mostly called chilli. This variety has market but there is no pepper variety called chilli because hot pepper is chilli itself.
- Bullet chilli ‘in bullet form’ can be harvested for two years.
- African bird eye is the local variety that lasts up to five years, and has big market.
Nursery bed for pepper
Need 250-300g of seeds for an acre.
“Hydrogen powder mixed with water should be applied on the soil. It protects the crops from stress factors like weather and diseases. It helps in minimising water requirements,” Kituzi says.
Prepare your garden and apply hydrogen on soils before planting as this helps soils to gain nutrients.
- Spacing: Bullet and cayenne peppers need 30-60cm and African bird eye 1-2feet apart. Spacing your garden right is essential for big harvests.
- Spraying: Spray every two weeks for better results.
- Apply Super grow [20ml mixed in 20l of water]. Dudu cyper [5-30ml mixed in 20l of water] is ideal. NPK foliar [60-80ml mixed in 20l of water] works best.
Harvest from one acre
Bullet and cayenne pepper (10,000-20,000) fruits.
African bad eye (7,000-10,000) fruits. The pepper ranges between sh2,000 and sh8,000 per unit.
“Keep records for your pepper business because pepper farmers don’t get immediate cash but get collect their cash after exporting the crops” he says.s