Modern farming practices fetching rich dividends

Greenhouse Shade Netting - Agriculture Shade Net Manufacturer Industrial Nets, Horticulture Nets


Shaded net nurseries and poly-houses in which chillies are cultivated in simulated conditions are some of the innovations that have been adapted by progressive farmers in Sattenapalli, Dachepalli, and Macherla mandals. Farmers are also cultivating other horticultural crops like tomato, brinjal, and capsicum etc in shaded net nurseries.

Studies revealed that chilli saplings raised in closed nurseries have several advantages over those raised in open fields.

They have an independent root system, are secure from pest attack, have a sturdy stem growth, better transplantation prospects and zero per cent mortality. Moreover, the soil medium in the germination trays can be used to raise three crops in a year. The insect net protests the crop against Sucking Beat, Trips, Lady Minor etc.

. Organic production of Chilli :

6.1 Climate 

Chilli requires a warm and humid climate for its best growth and dry weather during the maturation of fruits. Chilli crop comes up well in tropical and sub-tropical regions, but it has a wide range of adaptability and can withstand heat and moderate cold to some extent. The crop can be grown over a wide range of altitudes from sea level upto nearly 2100 m above MSL. It can be grown throughout the year under irrigation. It can be grown successfully as a rain-fed crop in areas receiving an annual rainfall of 850-1200 mm. Heavy rainfall leads to poor fruit set and in association with high humidity leads to rotting of fruits. Pungent chilli are susceptible to frost. A temperature ranging from 20-25°C is ideal for chilli. In chilli fruit development was found to be adversely affected at temperatures of 37°C or more. High temperature associated with low relative humidity at flowering increases the transpiration resulting in shedding of buds, flowers and small fruits.

6.2 Soil

Chilli can be grown in a range of soils, but black soils which retain moisture for long periods are suitable for rainfed crop whereas well drained soils, deltaic soils and sandy loams are good under irrigated condition. However, in hills of Uttarakhand, chilli are grown in a wide range of soils ranging from sandy to clay loam mixed with gravel and coarse sand.

6.3 Maintenance of buffer zone

For organic cultivation of chilli, a buffer zone of 7.5 - 15 m is to be left all around the conventional farm, depending upon the location of the farm. The produce from this buffer zone shall not be treated as organic.

6.4 Land Preparation

Land is prepared to a fine tilth by thorough ploughing / digging. Two to three ploughings are done to bring the soil to fine tilth. Stones and gravel are to be removed. In case of direct sowing, three to four ploughings are undertaken and sowing is done along with the last ploughing. The soil can be treated with azatobacter or azospirillum @ 1-1.25 kg mixed with 50 kg of farm yard manure and the same may be broadcast in the field. Farm Yard manure @ 4-6 t and 1-2 t of vermicompost can be added per acre.

6.5 Planting material

Chilli is propagated by seeds. For raising nurseries, seeds of high yielding varieties with tolerance to pests and diseases may be used. They should be carefully selected from certified organic farms or from own seed plot which is raised organically. To start with, chemically untreated seeds from local high yielding varieties could also be used, in the absence of organically produced seeds.

6.6 Varieties

Pusa Sadabahar, Pusa Jwala and Pant C-1 are the chilli varieties for cultivation in Uttarakhand. However, many of the farmers are growing varieties procured from Pantnagar for long and even using their own seeds.


Nursery Raising

Fresh seeds are sown in well prepared nursery beds. Although it can be sown by broadcast method in the main field, transplanting method is preferred for better quality and survival. The nursery bed is usually raised from ground level and is prepared by thorough mixing with compost and sand. Seeds treated with Trichoderma are sown and covered thinly using sand. The seeds germinate in 5 to 7 days. About 40 - 45 days old seedlings are transplanted in the main field.

6.9 Transplanting

40-45 days old seedlings are used for transplantation. Transplanting is generally done during the April-May in the hills of Uttarakhand. Seedlings are transplanted in shallow trenches / pits or on ridges / level lands. In some places, 60 cm x 60 cm or 45 cm x 30 cm or 30 cm x 30 cm spacing is also followed. However, a spacing of 60 cm x 30 cm with a plant population of about 22200 seedlings per acre or 45 cm x 45 cm with a plant population of 19750 per acre are considered optimum.

6.10 Direct Sowing

Direct sowing is practiced under rainfed conditions. For direct sown crop, the seeds are drilled by the end of March or first week of April. Seed rate is 2.5-3.0 kg per acre. After 30-40 days of sowing, thinning and gap filling is done on a cloudy day.

6.11 Irrigation

Chilli cannot withstand heavy moisture. Hence irrigation should be given only when necessary. Frequent and heavy irrigation induces lanky vegetative growth and cause flower shedding. Plant growth, branching and dry matter accumulation are adversely affected by excess irrigation. The number of irrigation and interval between irrigation depends on soil and climatic conditions. If the plants show drooping of leaves at 4 p.m., it is an indication that irrigation is needed. Flowering and fruit development in chilli are the most critical stages of water requirement. Normally chilli is grown under rain-fed condition. However, under irrigated condition, care should be taken to avoid using water contaminated with fertilizers, pesticides and fungicides. Irrigation should be done judiciously. Stagnation of water should not be allowed in nursery beds and Generally two weedings/hoeings are required to keep the field free from weeds, the first within 20-25 days of sowing and the other after 20-25 days of the first weeding/hoeing. Wherever needed, depending on the weed growth one or two more weedings may be taken up. Weeds which attract pests should be allowed to grow in the field to act as trap and removed before flowering. Earthing up is carried out as and when necessary. Chilli can be cultivated organically as an inter or mixed crop provided all the other crops are grown under organic methods. It is desirable to include a leguminous crop in rotation with chilli.fields in order to avoid fungal infection.

Plant protection

6.14.1 Pests

Thrips, mites, aphids, root grubs and pod borers are the major pests in chilli. To avoid infestation of root grub, only well rotten farmyard manure should be applied in the field. Application of neem cake @ 100 kg/acre is advisable for control of root grubs. Change in the agronomic practices to disturb the life cycle of the grub is also found useful. To control the infestation of root grub, light traps can be laid out from March. Grass can be heaped at different places in the field and the grubs which accumulate in these heaps may be collected in the early morning and destroyed. 400 g/acre of Beauvaria bassiana may be broadcast in the field. Transplanting before first fortnight of April also helps in reducing the incidence of root grub.

Application of neem seed kernel extract (NSKE) can be done for control of thrips, aphids and mites. 10 kg of neem seed kernels may be boiled in 15 l of water. 200 ml of this extract may be mixed in 15 l of water and four to five sprays may be given to control sucking pests. Farmers also use seed extracts of Bakaine (Melia azadirach) along with Bichoo Grass (Urtica dioica) for control of pests. Release of larvae of Chrysoperla cornea, a bio control agent, once in 15 days is also helpful in controlling thrips and mites. Fruit (pod) borers are the major pests which cause considerable damage to the crop. They can be managed to a certain extent by adoption of bio control measures. Restricted installation of pheromone traps in the field @ 5 no. per acre helps to monitor the adult moths. Ten days after spotting the moths in the traps, 4-5 spraying with Nuclear Polyhedrosis Virus (NPV) @ 200 LE (larval equivalent)/acre is beneficial to control the early larval stage of the pod borers. The egg masses of Spodoptera borer can be mechanically collected and destroyed. Trichogramma, an egg parasite, may be released two days after appearance of moths. Spraying of neem products like neem oil, neem seed kernel extract and restricted use of Bacillus thuringiensis @ 0.4 kg/acre are beneficial. All the shed fruits and part of inflorescence should be collected and destroyed at regular intervals.

6.14.2 Diseases

Fruit rot & Die back caused by Colletotrichum capsici and bacterial wilt are the two major diseases of chilli. Bacterial leaf spot, powdery mildew and mosaic disease (caused by virus) are the major diseases of chilli. Careful seed selection and adoption of phytosanitary measures will check the diseases of chilli. Early removal of affected plants will control the spread of the diseases. Seed treatment with Trichoderma takes care of seedling rot in nursery. Varieties tolerant to diseases should be used wherever the disease is severe. Rouging and destruction of affected plants help in checking the mosaic virus. For effective disease control, 10 g of Trichoderma or Pseduomonas sp. per litre of water should be used for spraying.

6.15 Harvesting

Chilli is highly perishable in nature. It requires more attention during harvest, storage and transportation. Harvesting should be done at the right stage of maturity. Dark green fruit should be plucked for preparing chilli pickle. For dry chilli and for making chilli powder, picking should be done when the fruit is dark red. Ripe fruits are to be harvested at frequent intervals. Retaining fruits for a long period on the plants causes wrinkles and colour fading. Crop is ready for harvesting in about 90 days after transplanting. About 5-6 pickings are made for dry chilli and 8-10 pickings for green chilli.

6.16 Growth Phases in Chilli

The crop duration of chilli is about 150-180 days depending on variety, season and climate, fertility and water management. The growth of chilli comprises of vegetative and reproductive phases. In general, the vegetative phase in chilli extends to 75-85 days followed by 75-95 days of reproductive phase. The vegetative phase is characterised by increase in plant height with profuse branching. Heavy branching is preferred for better aeration and sunlight infiltration into the canopy over compact varieties. This also helps in preventing fruit rot. Flowering starts from 80-85 days of the crop or 40-45 days after transplanting. Chilli plant is an often cross pollinated crop with 50% of natural crossing. For fruit development and maturity about 40 days time is required after anthesis and pollination.

6.17 Yield

The yield of fresh chilli varies from 30-40 q/acre depending on variety and growing conditions. Out of 100 kg of fresh fruits 25-35 kg of dried fruits may be obtained. The yield of dry chilli is expected to be in the range of 7.5 to 10 q/acre. However, in the present model, yield of 8 q/acre has been assumed.

7. Post Harvest Management :

7.1 Drying

Chilli on harvesting have a moisture content of 65-80% depending on whether partially dried on the plant or harvested while still succulent. This must be reduced to 8-10% to avoid microbial activity and aflatoxin production. Traditionally, this has been achieved by sun - drying of fruits immediately after harvesting, the most common practice in India, without any special form of treatment. Soon after harvest, the produce is to heaped or kept in clean gunnies for one day for uniform colour development of the pods. The best temperature for ripening is 22-25°C and direct sun light is to be avoided since this can result in the development of white patches. The preparation of drying floor differs from tract to tract. Heaped fruits are spread out in thin layers in the sun on hard dry ground or on concrete floors or even on the flat roofs of houses, frequent stirrings are given during day time in order to get uniform drying and thereby avoid discolouration or mould growth. Levelled and compacted floor is to be made for drying. From the fifth day onwards, the produce is inverted on alternate days so that the pods in the lower layers are brought up to ensure quick and uniform drying. While drying, the produce can be covered with polythene sheets during night time to avoid dew deposition and resultant colour fading.

Since the produce is exposed to sun for 10-15 days in the open yards, it is likely to get contaminated with foreign matter like dust and dirt, damaged by rainfall, animals, birds and insects. Traditional method of harvesting and sun drying involves poor handling of fruits resulting in bruising and splitting. Bruises shows up as discoloured spots on pods, splitting leads to an excessive amount of loose seeds in a consignment and there is a considerable loss in weight and then in price. If the harvested fruits are not properly dried and protected from rain and pests, it will loose the colour, glossiness and pungency. The losses due to this method may range from 30-40 % of the total quantity.

The produce can be dried within a period of 18 hours using air blown drier keeping the temperature at 44o - 46o C. This method not only saves time, avoids the drying operations for 10-15 days but also imparts deep red colour and glossy texture to the fruits. Solar drier and tray drier can be used. RRL (Jammu) has devised a Solar Drier for drying chilli which effects complete drying of the commodity in 4-5 days with a marked improvement in colour and storage characteristics. The gadget is very simple and is made of mud, stone pebbles and glass panes and is specially suited for rural areas. It can be conveniently constructed by village artisans. With the extensive use of such solar driers, sizeable quantities of red chilli can be produced in rural areas.

7.2 Grading & Packing

Grading is to be done to remove defective and discoloured pods. All diseased, deformed and discoloured fruits should be removed before marketing and storage. Well dried pods after removing the extraneous matters like plant parts, etc. should be packed in clean, dry gunny bags and stored ensuring protection from dampness.

7.3 Storage

Chilli should be properly stored to avoid infestation of pests. Storage is a must for off-season consumption and marketing. While dry chilli powder can be stored at home, green fruit has to be kept in cold storage. It is preferable to store dried chilli in refrigerated condition (cold storage) to retain colour. Dunnage has to be provided to stack the packed bags to prevent moisture ingress from the floor. Care should be taken to stack the bags at 50 –60 cm away from the wall. Storing chilli for longer periods may lead to deterioration. However, if cold storage facilities are used, the product may be stored for 8-10 months. Insects, rodents and other animals should be effectively prevented from getting access to the premises where chilli is stored.

7.4 Processing

Processed products such as dehydrated chilli, pickle, powder, paste, sauce, etc., can be prepared for higher returns. Almost all chilli growers sell it directly. The farmers will be in a position to get better returns by value addition in the form of processed products. Hence, farmers must be educated in the processing of chilli.

8. Linkages :

8.1. Technical guidance

Technical guidance for organic chilli cultivation is being provided by Master Trainers at the block level working with the Department of Agriculture. Service Providers of Uttarakhand Organic Commodity Board at the district level also help these Master Trainers in guiding the farmers. Apart from this, G B Pant University of Agriculture and Technology, Uttarakhand Organic Commodity Board may also be approached for technical guidance and marketing of the produce.

8.2 Export Oriented Production

Spices Board supports production, processing, certification and marketing of organic spices. The Spices Board is also implementing the scheme for Export Oriented Production during the XI Plan wherein assistance is being provided for promotion of organic chilli under various programmes indicated in Annexure II.

8.3 Supply Chain Management

At present, dry chilli are being marketed by the farmers mostly in the village itself to traders. Some of the farmers sell dry chilli at Ramnagar and Haldwani mandies. Chilli is one of the major commodity traded in Ramnagar market. Since the chilli of the target area commands premium price due to their pungency, marketing has not been a problem for the farmers. The movement in chilli prices is inversely related to the market arrivals. The market arrival of chilli in the country is highest during the period of May-September and lowest during October-November. Conversely, the price of chilli is highest in October-December. The harvesting season in Uttarakhand hills starts from September and extends upto November. The low market arrivals during this period also helps the farmers of Uttarakhand to realise better prices apart from their quality.

Organic Producers Groups (OPG) are formed in each of the Bio Villages which are commodity specific. These groups are involved in Production, Grading and Packaging of Organic Products. Master Trainers at block level working with the Department of Agriculture give feedback to Service Providers working with Uttarakhand Organic Commodity Board at a higher level. Two nodal persons (Supply Chain Officers) in each region i.e. Kumaon and Garhwal are placed for effective supply chain management.

Sale Price

The income from chilli depends on the cost of cultivation, yield and price of dry chilli. While the price fluctuates from Rs.40 - 90 per kg depending on the season and also on the quality of the produce, in the present model, a conservative price of Rs.50 per kg has been considered, even though, the chilli from the Betalghat area commands premium price in the market owing to high levels of pungency.

9.2 Cost of cultivation

In the present model, the cost of cultivation for development of organic chilli in acre of land works out to be Rs.21500. This may be modified to suit the local conditions taking into account the different techno-financial parameters prevailing in the locality. The details of various costs and benefits are presented in Annexure-III

. Conclusion :

The net income from organic cultivation of chilli is Rs.17300/acre. The activity is technically feasible, financially viable and bankable.




13. Chilli


K 1


It is a pure line selection from local Sattur Samba developed at Agricultural Research Station, Kovilpatti. The plants are tall and spreading. The crop duration is 210 days, yields 1.8 tonnes of dry pods/ha and suitable for rainfed cultivation in Southern Districts of Tamil Nadu. The ripe fruits are red, long and contain high capsaicin.


K 2


It is a hybrid derivative of the cross between B.70 A (Assam type) x Sattur Samba. The plants are erect with a height of 90.2 cm. The stem color is green when young and grey on maturity with green leaves. The pods are green when unripe and turns to red at ripening with firmly attached calyx, compressed base and pointed beak. It yields 1.9 tonnes of dry pods in a crop duration of 210 days. The length and girth of pod is 7.0 and 4.0 cm respectively. This variety has recorded an increased yield of 29% over K.1 chilli.




It is an induced mutant from K.1 chillies by using 30 KR of gamma rays. It is, compact plant type with broad and dark green leaves and determinate growth habit with less number of secondary branches. The fruits are borne in clusters of 4 to 9 at nodes as against single fruit borne at nodes in K.1 or K.2 varieties. The fruits are long with dark shiny red color. It has total duration of 205 to 215 days and gives a dry pod yield of 1809 kg/ha under irrigated conditions representing an increase of 15.1 per cent over K.2 chilli.

CO 1


It is a reselection from Sattur Samba [CA (p) 247]. The crop duration is 210 days and yields 2110 kg of dry pods per hectare. The plants are erect, medium tall and compact with medium branching. The fruits are green when unripe and bright shiny red on ripening. The fruits are 6.0 to 6.5 cm long with sharp tip and bulged shoulder. The seed content is 55 per cent. The variety has high capsaicin content (0.72 mg/g).


CO 2


It is a selection from Nambiyur local 'Gundu' type of Erode district of Tamil Nadu [CA (p) 63]. The crop duration is 210 days and yields 2200 kg of dry pods per hectare. The stem is angular, semidwarf and less spreading. The fruits are oblong, thick and bright red in color. Seed content is high (60%). The capsaicin content of dry pod is 0.56 per cent. It is suitable for harvest both as green pods and red ripe pods. The green pod yield is about 11 t/ha.




This is a hybrid derivative of the cross between AC. No. 1797 x CO.1 selected in F4 generation and fixed by selfing and released from the Horticultural College and Research Institute, Periyakulam. Plants are dwarf (70 cm). The crop duration is 180 days. It is suitable for cultivation under irrigated conditions. It yields on an average of 3.08 t/ha with 39.83% increase over CO.1. It has very bold pods, which are dark red in color. The number of pods per plant is 204 with 85 seeds per fruit. Fruits contain 0.36% capsaicin with a high ascorbic acid content of 306.0, 269.8 and 67.0 mg/100 g of green, ripe and dry pod respectively.


CO 3

It is a selection from an open pollinated type introduced from Sri Lanka (CA, 856). The fruits are long, slender with attractive dark green color before ripening and turns to deep red color after ripening. They are borne underneath the canopy and less affected by heavy wind, dwarf and amenable for close planting of 30 cm x 15 cm. The potential yield at this spacing is 3000-3500 kg of dry chilli and 15-18 tonnes of green chilli per hectare. It is also suitable to be used us green chilli. It has a very low stalk/pod ratio (6.6), high oleoresin (13%) and capsaicin (0.402 mg/g) and hence suitable for export purpose. It is suitable for use as both green and dried chilli. The crop duration is 165 days.




It is a hybrid derivative of a cross Co.2 x Ramanathapuram gundu (Local) and released from the Agricultural Research Station, Paramakudi. It is suitable for semi-dry cultivation during Rabi season (North East Monsoon) in Ramanathapuram district. It can also be recommended for other dry areas where similar conditions exist. The variety yields on an average of 2.36 tonnes of dry pods per hectare, accounting for yield increase of 29.43 per cent over Co.2 and 53.24 per cent over local. The crop duration is 200 days. The plants are medium tall with spreading branches. The fruits are conical in shape with attractive red color with 0.36 per cent capsaicin content.


PLR 1 (1994)

It is a pureline selection [CA (Q) 8] from Kanchengadu local type suitable for cultivation as green chillies. It yields 18.41 tonnes of green chillies/ha, which is 13.3% increase over CO.2, and 23.5% over local type in a crop duration of 210 days. It is adaptable to North Eastern Zone of Tamil Nadu and cultivated during December-January season. The plants are dwarf statured and produces bigger sized fruits (190/plant). The harvest can be prolonged by increasing the number of pickings. The fruits are also used for pickling. It tolerates salinity in the soil. The fruits are pendulous, medium in size (8.66 cm length and 8.54 cm girth) with bulging base and blunt tip, glossy green appearance. The first picking starts 60 days after transplanting and completes in 180 days.


CO 4


It is a pureline selection made from an open pollinated type introduced from Sri Lanka released from the Horticultural College and Research Institute, Coimbatore. The plants are dwarf, closely branched, suitable for close planting. The fruits are dark green and stout (6.5 g) with low pungency (0.29% Capsaicin). It yields 23 t/ha of green fruits as against 11.73 t/ha in PKM.1 with a crop duration of 165 days. Suitable for making chutney, curry and pickles. Adapted to fertile loamy soils of Coimbatore, Erode, Dindigul, Karur, Thanjavur, Nagai, Tirunelveli, Tuticorin and Kanyakumari districts.


KKM(Ch) 1 (2006)

This is a hybrid derivative of Acc. 240 / CO-3 and suitable for cultivation during September – October. It is a high yielder with duration of 200 days. The plants are dwarf, compact and spreading. Fruits are attractive red in colour and do not shrink much after drying and hence could fetch better price in market. Relatively, it has high capsaicin content (0.54%), oleoresin content (14.3%) and seed content (49.79 Nos. / pod).  It has moderate resistance to fruit rot (Percent Disease Index value 1.10) and field tolerance to mosaic disease (Percent Disease Incidence value 3.02). It yields about 3.03 tonnes of dry pod / hectare which is 35.61% increase over PKM 1 and 38.41% increase over K 1. a highest yield of 3.762 t/ha was obtained from this variety. It is suitable for cultivation in Tirunelveli, Thoothukudi, Virudhunagar and Ramanathapuram regions under garden land condition.

Description: Chilli

Description: Chilli


Bird's eye chili

File:Thai peppers.jpg

The bird's eye chili plant is a perennial with small, tapering fruits, often two or three, at a node. The fruits are very pungent. The flowers are greenish-white or yellowish-white.

The bird's eye chili is small, but is quite hot (piquant). It measures around 50,000–100,000 Scoville units, which is at the lower end of the range for the hotter habanero chili.

Characteristics of the bird's eye chili plant

  • Plant height: up to 2 m
  • Stem colour: green
  • Leaf colour: green
  • Leaf size: 3–8 cm by 2–4 cm
  • Fruit colour at maturity: green, orange, or red
  • Fruit shape: conical
  • Fruit length: 2–3 cm
  • Fruit width at shoulder: 0.5 cm
  • Fruit weight: 2–3 g
  • Fruit surface: smooth
  • Seed colour: light tan
  • Seeds per fruit: 10–20


Devil's Tongue

Chili Peppers


Devil's Tongue Chili Peppers


125,000-325,000 Scovilles.

The Devil’s Tongue is similar in color and shape to the Fatalii, but with smoother skin and smaller size. It matures to a bright yellow or yellow-orange and has a sweet, fruity flavor, if you can get past the intense heat. It appears to be in the habanero family, but it was “discovered” in Pennsylvania growing amongst other habaneros, so its exact origins are unknown. The heat level rivals that of the habanero and is still much hotter than most peppers.


Trinidad Scorpion pods

Chiltepin Chili Peppers

50,000 to 100,000 Scovilles. Capsicum Annuum. The Chiltepin, or Chiltepine, is a tiny, round or oval shaped, red to orange-red chile, measuring about .8cm in diameter. It has grown in the wild throughout much of Northern Mexico and Southern Texas for generations, and there is much folklore and history involving the plant in the US/Mexico Borderland areas. Efforts to grow the wild plants on farms have led to the development of the Chile Piquin which is grown commercially in Mexico and Texas.

The Chiltepin is very hot, and in Mexico, the heat of the pepper is considered “arrebatado” which means “rapid” or “violent” because the intense heat is not long lasting, unlike many chile peppers that have a slower and more enduring effect.