Indian Institute of Spices Research, Calicut has come out with a new technology which can relish the culinary needs of house wives for pepper –throughout the year. As the term suggests bush pepper is a miniature pepper in the shape of a bush grown as a potted plant with decorative and economic value. Raised from lateral branches (fruiting branches) of yielding vines using a rooting hormone viz. Keradix is peculiar in that it goes on producing spikes from all its branches yielding berries throughout the year. Thus pepper will be available to the house hold in all the stages like immature berries suitable for flavouring in fish frying, mature ones for making black pepper on drying and ripe berries for making white pepper for soups.
Bush pepper needs no standards for trailing or climbers for harvesting. Anybody can care the plant and pluck the spikes as one wishes. Keeping 3-4 pots in the sit out or Veranda of the house especially in urban/flat dwellers help them to taste field fresh spices. This will also help city dwellers to inculcate the spirit of raising own food to their children forbidden from such activities because of their dwelling environment. The pots can be placed under a shade net and kept on the terraces of houses, protecting from direct sun. The water that is collected from washing points can be recycled for its daily irrigation. On an average 1 kg fresh pepper can be harvested after it reaches full growth.
The Krishi Vigyan Kendra at Peruvannamuzhi under IISR has taken up demonstration of the technology in semi-urban areas in the district. There is great satisfaction for all the beneficiaries in that they get yield within 6 months of planting them in pots. KVK is also providing the bush pepper rooted plants just for Rs.25/- with organic manures and care tips. Surely the spice city of Calicut has a good chance to welcome Vascodegamaa………… again in search of pepper.
Subject Matter specialist (Agron.)
Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Peruvannamuzhi (P.O.)