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PROPAGATION OF PEPPER

S.ESWARA REDDY
Besides choosing proper variety, the planting material should be of a superior quality. Use of pre-rooted pepper cuttings is highly desirable. Theoretically rooted cuttings can be obtained from all parts of pepper stem or aerial shoots. Pepper develops three types of aerial shoots, viz. a) Primary stem or climbing stem b)Runner shoots which originate from the base of the vines and c)Fruit-bearing lateral branches and d) Hanging shoots. Different planting materials will produce different types of plants (Fig 1.a,b and c). In India, generally, cuttings from the runner shoots are used for raising rooted planting materials. High yielding and healthy vines in the garden is identified and marked. Runner shoots from these vines are kept coiled on wooden pegs fixed at the base of the vine to prevent the shoots from coming in contact with soil. Thus protected runner shoots are separated from the vine in February-March and leaves are trimmed. Cuttings of 2-3 nodes each are planted either in nursery beds or polythene bags filled with fertile potting mixture. Cuttings kept under shade are irrigated frequently. The cuttings will strike roots and become ready for planting in May-June when 4-5 leaves are put. This traditional method does not provide enough planting materials to meet the requirements. So, alternative methods of rapid multiplication techniques wee devised for large-scale production of rooted pepper cuttings: * Rapid multiplication of rooted pepper cuttings using bamboo method * Pit method (single node from runner shoots are used for rooting) * Rooted lateral or fruiting branches are propagated as bush pepper Terminal shoots are also ideal for planting. Such shoots (about 50cm long) can be cut and planted straight-away during the monsoon or they can be got rooted before planting in the field. Vines from these cuttings give better growth and high number of fruit bearing lateral branches, which enable the plants to be more productive. Further, the vines start flowering earlier than other types of planting materials. But, getting enough terminal shoots from yielding garden is difficult. So, the method is not very popular. General maintenance in the nursery:

Collection of parental material for starting a nursery should be from an area free from the incidence of diseases, Phytophthora foot rot and nematodes. The vines selected should be 5-10 year old and high yielder. The nursery should be kept hygienic Give periodical (once in 15 days) sprays with 1.0% Bordeaux mixture Drench the trenches also with 0.2% copper oxychloride (2g of product is mixed with 1 litre of water) at least twice during the south-west monsoons, the first in May-June and the second in August-September.

Commonly observed pests and diseases in pepper nursery and their management is presented in table 6. A technique developed in Sri Lanka and refined at Indian Institute of Spices Research is becoming increasingly popular in India. In this method, a trench of 0.75 m deep and 0.3m wide having convenient length is made. The trench is filled with rooting medium (preferably forest soil, sand, farmyard manure mixture 1:1:1). Add 1.5kg lime for every meter length of the trench. Split halves of bamboo with septa intact [1.25-1.5m long and 8-10 cm dia] are fixed on a strong central support, from either side at 30 cm intervals at 45 o angle. The bamboos on opposite sides can be arranged touching one another. Rooted cuttings are planted in the trench at the rate of one cutting each for one bamboo. The lower portions of the bamboo splits are filled with a rooting medium (preferably weathered coir dust-farmyard manure mixture 1:1) and the growing vine is tied to the bamboo split in such a way as to keep the nodes pressed to the rooting medium. The tying could be done with dried banana sheath fibres. The vines are irrigated regularly. Biocontrol agents like Trichoderma, VAM fungi etc. cam be added to the rooting medium. As the vines grow up, filling up the bamboo splits with rooting medium and tying each node pressing it down to the rooting medium are to be continued regularly. For rapid growth the following nutrient solution may be applied. Urea (1kg), super phosphate (0.75kg), muriate of potash (0.5kg), magnesium sulphate (0.25kg) in 250 litre water. The solution is applied at the rate of 0.25 litre per vine. When the vine reaches the top (the initially planted vine takes 3-4 months for this) the terminal bud is nipped off and the vine is crushed at about three nodes above the base, in order to activate auxiliary buds. After about 10 days, each vine is cut at the crushed point and removed from the rooting medium and each node is separated without damaging the root system. The nodal cutting with the bunch of roots intact is planted in polybags filled with pot mixture. Care should be taken to keep the axil above the soil. The polybags should be kept in a cool humid place, or should be covered with thin polythene (200 guage) sheeting to retain high humidity. The buds start developing in about 3 weeks when the polybags can be removed and kept in shade. Advantages of this method are that multiplication is rapid at the ratio of 1:40, the root system is well developed , leads to about 90% field establishment of the planting material and is cost effective at less than Rs. 5 per cutting.

. ii) Pit Method of Black pepper propagation A new technique for propagating black pepper from single nodes of field grown vines has been developed at Indian Institute of Spices Research, Calicut. The technique is simple and suited to small and marginal farmers. It is as follows: A pit of 2m x 1m x 0.5m is to be prepared under a cool shaded area in the farm. Single nodes with approximately 8-10 cm length and their leaf intact, taken from runner shoots of field grown vines are to be planted polythene bags (25x15cm, 200gauge) having three proportions at the lower half filled with a mixture of sand, soil, coir dust and cow dung in equal proportions. The single nodes are to be planted in the polythene bags in such way so as their leaf axle will rest above the potting mixture. The polybags with the planted single nodes should be arranged in the pit. In a pit of the above size approximately 150 bags can be kept. After keeping the bags in the pit, the pit should be covered with a polythene sheet. This sheet may be secured in position by placing stones, weights etc on the corners. The cutting should be watered at least five times a day with a rose can. Every time immediately after watering the pit should be covered with the polythene sheet. It is advisable to drench the cuttings two-three times with copper oxychloride (2g/litreAfter 2-3 weeks of planting the cuttings will start producing roots. These roots will be visible through the polythene bags. After the initiation of rooting, watering should be reduced to 3-4 times a day. After about one month, healthy shoots start emerging from the leaf axil. At this stage it is advisable to keep the cuttings inside the pit that they will not suffer from any shock when they are taken out the pit. The cuttings can be taken out of the pit after two months of planting. Once taken out they should be invariably kept in a shaded place and watered twice a day. These cuttings will be ready for field planting after about another 2 months. By this method 80-85 per cent success can be obtained. Foliar application of nutrient solution will enhance the growth of the cuttings. Advantages of this method is that it is simple , cheap and quick as cuttings are ready to plant in about 4 months compared to six months in conventional method, and leads to more efficient utilization of the runner shoots as single node cuttings are used vis a vis four node cuttings in conventional method . Salient points to be taken care of: 1. Keep the leaves of the cutting intact 2. Take cutting only from healthy vines 3. Arrange regular watering

TYPES OF PEPPER AND PEPPER PRODUCTS


Green Pepper Green Pepper corns are the immature, fresh (green) berries of the pepper vine - Piper nigrum. These berries are plucked fresh from the vines and processed into various specialty products while retaining their natural green colour and flavor. Following are the gourmet range of Green Pepper Products processed in India.

Freeze Dried Green Pepper Dehydrated Green Pepper Green Pepper in Brine Frozen Green Pepper

India is one of the very few countries which produce and supply Freeze Dried Green Peppercorns, wherein even the natural form of the Green Peppercorns is retained. This is a specialty product which finds a wide application in instant soups and dry-meals on account of its special characteristics and subtle flavor. It is also used in the cheese industry and for preparation of pates. By virtue of its reconstitution characteristics it is a favorite choice for housewives who obtain it from the retail in glass jars for varied application at home. Dehydrated Green Pepper:

Dehydrated Green Peppercorns is used for grinding/cracking, in soup mixes and pepper mills and in meat, sausage & egg preparations. Besides other applications, Green Peppercorns in brine is used for making sauces and purees and in the food service sector. This is a premium quality dry pepper, dried under controlled conditions and yet keeping the natural green colour and giving out the best flavors packed in low-density plastic bags in 7 ply paper cartons with 10 to 15 kg net weight having various ensities ranging from 200 - 400 gm / liter. The catering sector specially utilizes this product in the green pepper steaks. It is also a popular pickle by itself or mixed with other spices/vegetables. Frozen Green Peppercorns are used in fresh salads and

frozen meals. Export of these items are mainly directed to West Europe, though they are increasingly gaining acceptance in USA, Canada and other smaller markets. There are many units which are active in the production and export of Green Pepper products from India. These items are mainly produced for export only. Green Pepper in Brine: These premium quality light green pepper berries, after removing all the stones and other foreign particles are kept in brine solution for about 45 days till the berries are matured. This process includes three times washing and fresh brine solution with salt solution around 17%2% and vinegar around 0.6%2%; packed in HDPE jars with net drained weight of 25 kg each. In the Indian context, Pink/Red Pepper is the ripened pepper berries of the Piper nigrum. India also produces Pink/Red Peppercorns in brine. White Pepper, Sterilized Black Pepper, Dehydrated Black Pepper, Black, White and Green Pepper Powders and Cracked Peppercorns are also produced and exported from India.

Black Pepper
Black Pepper Sterilized: Black Pepper in low bacteria is a premium quality pepper dried under controlled condition, till the moisture is brought down to less than 11%, after removing all stones, other foreign particles and then thoroughly washing in boiling water before drying. Packed in double layered poly bags 25kg net weight. Black Pepper Crushed: Special quality black pepper is crushed and sieved into various sizes varying from 10 - 30 mesh according to the choice of the buyers and packed in double lined poly bags of 25 kg each. Black Pepper Whole/Ground:

Dehydrated Salted Green Pepper:


De-hydrated salted Green Pepper is a product developed by Pepper India Corporation, it is a 100% substitute for Green Pepper In Brine and is much more convenient as it is easier for transportation and storing as it does not involve any Brine Solution. It is a product which can be used instead of Pepper In Brine as it contains both Pepper and Salt in the same proportion and at the same time maintains the natural green colour.

Pepper & Pepper Products

Black Pepper White Pepper Black Pepper Sauce Dehydrated Green Pepper Freeze dried Green pepper Frozen Pepper Green Pepper Sambal Green Pepper Sauce Ground Black Pepper Ground White Pepper Pepper in Medicinal use Pepper Beancurd Pepper Cookies Pepper in brine - cane, bottle, bulk Pepper Mayonnaise Pepper Oil Pepper Oleoresin Pepper Perfume Pepper Potpourri Pepper sweet Pepper Tea Pepper Yoghurt Preserved green pepper