Bacterial Wilt-Resistant Chilli

By TheHindu on 23 Aug 2016

By Our Agriculture Correspondent

The chilli yields high quality fruits of attractive colour and size.

A CHILLI variety, with built-in resistance to the dreaded disease of bacterial wilt, has been developed by the scientists at the department of Olericulture, Kerala Agricultural University (KAU), Vellanikkara. This improved variety with high yield potential has been released for commercial cultivation by the farmers under the name "Anugraha".

The promising chilli variety has recorded an average yield of 27 tonnes per hectare. A derivative of an advanced selection from crossing of Ujwala and Pusa Jwala, the new chilli variety is an early flowering type with medium-stature plant structure. It produces attractive, long, pendant fruits, which are light green when mature and turn deep red upon ripening, according to the scientists who developed this variety. The fruits possess medium pungency with good green chilli characteristics.

The plants grow to a height of about 51 cm and spread to cover 140 cm. It takes about 60 days after sowing to flower, and the first picking of green chillies can be got in about 92 days after sowing. The light green fruits grow to about 12 cm in length and attain a girth of 3 cm. The average fruit weight is 3.6 g, and on an average 186 fruits can be harvested from each plant. The average yield from a plant is about 549.33 g, according to the scientists.

Anugraha is non-lodging and short-stature variety with good response to sound nutrient management. It can be grown all through the year with good results.

However, planting in May gives the best results. One of its parents, Ujwala, is a high yielding variety with built-in resistance to bacterial wilt disease. It yields dark green and medium long fruits with high degree of pungency. The other parent Pusa Jwala is a susceptible variety with light green and long fruits with moderate pungency.

Anugraha has shown field tolerance to bacterial wilt and it is not attacked by major pests. Though this variety is suited for the warm humid tropics of Kerala, it particularly does well in the Central Zone of Kerala. It is adapted to specific areas in Thrissur, Palakkad and Ernakulam districts. A seed rate of 1 kg is recommended to cover a hectare. The seeds are broadcast over thoroughly worked elevated nursery beds. The well-nurtured and healthy seedlings are transplanted in the main field with a spacing of 45 cm by 45 cm.

Liberal application of farmyard manure and vermi-compost to the main field should be beneficial. Application of biofertilizers, powdered neem cake and spraying with cow's urine, vermi-wash and botanical insecticides both in the nursery and in the main field will definitely prove to be rewarding.

The long and attractive, high quality fruits of this variety with medium pungency and other promising field characteristics will make it attractive to the growers as also the consumers, according to the scientists.