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A to Z of chilli pepper farming in Kenya

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Chilli Pepper Farming: Cayene Chilli farming is one of the most rewarding venture, especially due to the short duration it takes to mature and head to the market. Normally, it will take 3 to 6 weeks to mature. The question, though, is on how to go about successful chili farming.

Well, the first step is in obtaining the right seeds to put in the soil. You can obtain these from Royal Seed Company. They have three different varieties, that is Daiya 619 F1, Demon F1 and Bandai F1.

All these have different characteristics, thus the choice will depend on target market preference. Hot chilli does well in loamy soils, which are well-drained with a pH of 5.5-6.8.

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They require a rainfall of 600-1,250mm, which should be well-distributed, although in the dry areas irrigation maybe carried out. Though they can grow in a wide range of altitudes, they would require a temperature range of 25-30OC for optimum productivity.

In areas where night temperature goes below 15oC, fruit setting is favoured though flowering is delayed.
Hot chili is planted from seeds which are first grown on a seedbed then transplanted to the field. Transplanting should take place late in the evening or during a cool cloudy day to avoid stressing the young crop.

Fertiliser regime would be 130kg/ha of N, 80kg/ha of P and 110 kg/ha of K. You should also watch out for pests such as root-knot nematodes, aphids, white flies, cut worms, thrips, spider mites, fruit flies, broad mite or yellow tea mite and leaf miners among others.

Diseases such as bacterial wilt, bacterial soft rot, bacterial spot, anthracnose, phytophthora blight, fusarium wilt and powdery mildew, among others should be monitored.

Harvesting takes place in 3-6 weeks after flowering depending on the market requirements on the level of maturity. Chilli Pepper Farming.

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