KORAPUT: The cultivation of black pepper might turn to be the next favourite even among the low and middle farmers in Koraput district for its successful growth and availability of market , Sujay Pradhan , a progressive farmer and leading coffee grower of the region said. While sharing the success story of pepper cultivation in his coffee plantation at Chotaguda in Dasamantpur block, he said that workers could earn up to Rs.320 in a day for plucking the seeds from the plants . With the continuous fluctuation in the coffee market and availability of market for pepper in the State itself, importance of pepper cultivation has gained more even among the large- scale coffee growers in the district, he added.
Grown as a side crop along with coffee, black pepper has saved the coffee growers from heavy losses in the recent past. Being grown under shade trees and moderately cooler climate, Koraput is one of the suitable places for its cultivation. Moreover the cultivator starts earning from the third year itself with the market being available at the door steps, he added. Farmers have even cultivated 5 to 6 quintals of black pepper per acre depending on their technical expertise, Ramakanta Parida , a horticulturist in Koraput said. Even though the tribal farmers might not be able to earn much like like the progressive farmers because of the lack of technical knowledge and ability to give optimum care to the plants, they too could earn a good living out of it, he added .