Black pepper is one of the renowned spice and is known as the “king of spices”. This pepper spice originated from the Western Ghats of India. Farmers mainly grow black pepper in Konkan, Pondicherry, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Kerala, TamilNadu, and Karnataka in India. India is the first consumer, producer and exporter of black pepper globally.
Out of total production, Kerala itself produces 90%. Due to its earnings of exports from foreign exchange, black pepper has good economic importance. This pepper spice is also known as “Black gold” because of international trade factors. Black pepper botanical name is “Piper nigrum” and belongs to the “Piperaceae” family.
For the ideal condition of black pepper farming, you should keep the information on which equipment is best. Several types of equipment are used in black pepper farming, such as tractors, implements, and harvesters. You can choose the Sonalika 750 tractor while selecting the tractor. We can also suggest the Swaraj tractor, Mahindra tractor, and many more. Here we are describing the ideal conditions for black pepper farming.
Pepper grows best in humid climatic and tropical hot conditions. It requires an annual rainfall of about 200 cm. For its successful growth, the ideal temperature is between 10°C and 40°C. This spice can be cultivated successfully at an altitude of 1400 metres (MSL) above sea level. However, drought is required for at least a month before flowering for the fruit set.
Farmers cultivate the black pepper on wide varieties of soil such as sandy loam, clay loam and red loam soils. However, virgin soils are best for black pepper cultivation, rich in well-drained and humus content (organic matter). Soil should keep the pH value of 5.0 to 6.5 for better yield.
In commercial pepper cultivation, pepper is usually propagated vegetatively (by cuttings). Although seeds can also propagate it, it is not the preferred method for commercial cultivation as the process takes so long. In the vegetative method of propagation, 2-3 knotted black pepper cuttings from the vines are placed in bamboo baskets (filled with soil) or plastic bags in the month of March-April. You should have these pepper cutting for transplanting in the main field in about 3 months.
Due to their climbing nature, pepper plants require some form of support. In a monocrop, the support can be a tree or a fixed pole (standard). However, if you have trees on your farm, they can be used as a standard or support. You should keep the distance for pepper plants at a distance of 3 to 4 meters. Due to its climbing nature, the pepper plant needs support. Again, the support can be a tree or a fixed pole (standard). However, if you have trees on your farm, they can be used as a standard or support.
You should dig the Pits of size 0.5 m x 0.5 m x 0.5 m at a distance of 25 to 30 cm from the support (standard). Just before the onset of the monsoon, 2 to 3 rooted trees should be cut in the pits made in the soil. Ensure that at least 1 node of the plant cutting goes underground, and the rest should be 40 – 45 cm above ground level.
Fill up the pits with soil and 10 kg of well-rotted manure (cow dung). It would be beneficial to cover the plants with shade initially. Just before the onset of the monsoon, 2 to 3 rooted trees should be cut in the pits made in the soil.
- You should apply 10 kg of FYM (compost or well-rotted cow dung) per plant ( preferable in April to May months).
- You should apply superphosphate of 1 kg, Ammonium Sulphate of 500 grams, 1 kg and also apply Muriate of potash of 100 grams per plant (preferred in August to September month).
- Farmers should apply Slaked lime @ 500 grams per plant in alternate years. ( For April to May months).
- You should apply these fertilisers and manures at a depth of 12-15 cm @ a distance of 25 to 30 cm from the base.
- Black pepper is required to well mix these fertilisers and manures in the soil with the help of a fork or any other instruments.
Continuous irrigation is recommended from the months of November-December to the end of March. After that, you should stop irrigation till the break of the monsoon. In pepper cultivation, this will increase the yield of pepper by about 50%. You should irrigate at an interval of 1 week in winter and every 2 days in summer. In the summer season, You should cover the soil with grass/dry leaves to retain some moisture in the soil.
With the guidance of black pepper farming, you should also know the agriculture equipment, such as tractors, implements, and harvesters. The tractor is the most prominent among them. The Massey tractor 241 is the best in the farming operation. Moreover, you can choose from many popular tractor brands models such as Swaraj 963, Powertrac 439 plus, and many more.
For more information regarding black pepper in India, stay tuned with us.