Best method of farming chilli commercially
Chilli farming is surely a profitable venture since the plants have a good market. They are rich in vitamins A, B and C as well as minerals.
Varieties: The most common include Cayenne, African Bird Eye, Jalapeno, Serenade and Habareno. The seeds are available in most agrovet shops and seed companies.
Ecological requirements: Chillies will do well at an altitude of 1,500m above sea level. Rainfall should be about 600-1,200mm per annum.
Chilli is a warm-season crop and requires temperatures of 20-30°C for growth and good fruit set. Chilli can do well in a wide range of soils as long as they are well-drained and have a soil pH of 6-6.5.
Propagation: The seeds are first planted in a nursery bed for six to eight weeks, after which they are transplanted to the field.
During transplanting, water the nursery bed at least an hour before uprooting the seedlings and transplant when the weather is cool, preferably in the evening or on a cloudy day.
Before transplanting, apply 10 tons/ha of manure in the seedbed and mix the manure thoroughly with the soil. During transplanting, apply 250kg DAP and then top dress with 100kg/ha CAN when the plants are 15cm high
Pests and diseases: Chilli is affected by pests and diseases, just like any other crop. The most common pests are aphids, mites, whiteflies and thrips, among others. Pests and diseases should be controlled using the appropriate method.
Harvesting: It starts two-and-a-half to three months after transplanting and continues for 3-4 months. Pick the red ripe chillies as soon as possible but this will depend on the market requirements, that is, whether red ripe or green.
Yield for chillies is 1,000-3,000kg per acre but higher yields can be obtained under good management.
Market: They have a ready market both locally and internationally. Export market is available in Europe, Germany, Norway, the UK and France but remember that for you to export, there are some conditions you must meet.