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How To Start Black Pepper Farming Business

Black pepper is an important spice in world trade. Any individual can start a black pepper farming business with moderate capital investment. However, there are several aspects you need to consider before starting the cultivation. Here in this post, we provide you with a detailed black pepper farming business plan for your ready reference.

The scientific name of black pepper is Piper nigrum. In addition, it belongs to the Piperaceae family. Generally, black peppers are flowering vines. And the commercial products are the fruits of the plant. Some of the major black pepper-producing countries are Brazil, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, and China.

Is Black Pepper Farming Profitable?

The spice is popular with the name “King of Spices”. It is a highly valuable spice. The primary use of this spice is medicinal. Pepper alone contributes about 70% of total export earnings from all spices. Popularly it is known as “Black gold” because of its unique position in international trade. Additionally, it is an integral part of Anglo-Indian curry powder. People use this spice as a flavoring agent.

Apart from the strong growing domestic market, the spice earns a significant export revenue in India. Today the pepper trade encompasses the whole world with Western Europe, the United States, Japan, and Korea being the biggest consumers. Canada, Russia, Japan, and the USA are the major importing countries of the spice. It is without saying, this unique spice gives a very satisfying return to the growers.

Health Benefits of Black Pepper

Here is a list of some benefits of black pepper:

  • The spice helps to increase nutrient absorption.
  • In addition, it improves digestion
  • It stimulates appetite
  • Furthermore, the spice facilitates weight loss
  • Additionally, it helps to clear congestion
  • Finally, this spice works as a natural antidepressant.

Things To Consider in Black Pepper Farming

First of all, check how much area of land you have. In addition, how much amount of startup capital do you have for starting a black pepper farming business?

According to the resources craft a business plan. You must include the investment and ROI and expected revenue earnings.

The pepper plant has a lifetime of around 40 years and starts producing the berries after 2-5 years. So, you must have a long-term plan.

According to the agroclimatic condition, choose the right variety to start farming. In addition, you must the right arrangements for fertilizer, irrigation, and plant protection.

Finally, you must have a marketing plan. Black pepper demands some specific post-harvest management and processing. Check whether you can provide the infrastructure or not. And plan accordingly.

Best Varieties of Black Pepper Farming

There are several improved varieties you can find for cultivation. However, you must choose the variety according to the agro-climatic and soil condition of your area. Here we put a list of some popular commercial varieties.

  • Panniyur 1: Suited to all regions. Not suited to heavily shaded areas. The average yield is 1242 Kg/ha. Oleoresin is 11.8 %. Piperine is 5.3 %. Essential oil is 3.5 %.
  • Panniyur 2: Shade-tolerant variety of black pepper. The average yield is 2570 Kg/ha. Oleoresin is 10.9 %. Piperine is 6.6 %. Essential oil is 3.4 %.
  • Panniyur 3: Late-maturing variety of black pepper, suited to all pepper-growing regions. The average yield is 1953 Kg/ha. Oleoresin is 12.7 %. Piperine is 5.2 %. Essential oil is 3.1 %.
  • Panniyur 4: Performs well under a variety of conditions. Stable yielder. The average yield is 1277 Kg/ha. Oleoresin is 9.2 %. Piperine is 4.4 %. Essential oil is 2.1 %.
  • Panniyur 5: Tolerant to nursery diseases and shade. The average yield is 1098 Kg/ha. Oleoresin is 12.33 %. Piperine is 5.5 %. Essential oil is 3.8 %.
  • Subhakara: Suited to all pepper-growing regions. The average yield is 2352 Kg/ha. Oleoresin is 12.4 %. Piperine is 3.4 %. Essential oil is 6.0 %.
  • Sreekara: Suited to all pepper-growing regions. The average yield is 2677 Kg/ha. Oleoresin is 13.0 %. Piperine is 5.1 %. Essential oil is 7.0 %.
  • Panchami: Late-maturing, suited to all pepper-growing regions. The average yield is 2828 Kg/ha. Oleoresin is 12.5 %. Piperine is 4.7 %. Essential oil is 3.4 %.
  • Pournami: Tolerant to root-knot nematode. The average yield is 2333 Kg/ha. Oleoresin is 13.8 %. Piperine is 4.1 %. Essential oil is 3.4 %.

Agroclimatic Condition for Black Pepper Cultivation

First of all, the spice is a plant of humid tropics requiring high rainfall and humidity. The hot and humid climate of sub-mountainous tracts of the Western Ghats is ideal for its cultivation. Also, it requires a high humidity of 75–95% for its healthy growth.

Additionally, it requires approximately 250 rainy days with a total annual rainfall of 2,000–3,000mm for its vigorous growth.  The favorable temperature range is 23° – 32°C and the ideal temperature is around 28°C. However, the optimum soil temperature for root growth is 26° – 28°C.

Suitable Soil for Black Pepper Farming

First of all, the soil must have a good structure and water-holding capacity. In addition, you will need to arrange a good drainage facility to prevent root rot. The PH balance of  5,5 to 6,0 is just perfect for this spice farming. Additionally, a high humus content is advantageous for your farm.

Read: Is Soil Testing Important In Agriculture?

6 Basic Steps for Black Pepper Farming

1. Propagation

Black pepper vines produce three types of shoots. One is a primary climbing shoot with long internodes having adventitious roots at nodes that cling to the supports/ standards. The second is runner shoots. It originates from the base of the vine and creeps on the ground.

They have long internodes which strike roots at each node. And the third one is fruit-bearing lateral shoots. You can raise the cutting from the runner shoots. Single-node roofed cutting using the bamboo method is the best method with the advantage of a higher multiplication rate (1:40) and good anchorage due to the presence of two root systems.

2. Planting

Generally, you can grow this spice in three ways. These are mono-crop, mix crop, and intercrop. According to the condition of your field, you have to select the planting options carefully. Generally, in India, farmers grow this spice as mix crop.

3. Manuring

Manuring and fertilizer application are critical for the proper establishment and growth of plants. Application of lime or dolomite @ 500 g/vine in April-May during alternate years is recommended under highly acid
soil conditions. In addition, you can also use organic manure or vermicompost.

4. Irrigation

The requirement for irrigation hugely depends on the climatic conditions. However, you must have the right arrangements for watering the fields when necessary. Generally, the plant demands irrigation at the time of winter and summer.

5. Plant Protection

During the growing period, you may face severe disease and pest attacks. So, you must be careful about that. Some of the potential diseases are Phytophthora infection, Anthracnose, Leaf rot and blight, Basal wilt, etc.

6. Harvesting & Yield

Generally, you can procure two types of peppers. These are white pepper and black pepper. Generally, the harvesting time depends on the type of pepper you want to procure. In addition, you can expect an average yield of 2 – 3 kg berries/vine/year.

Suggested Read: Best Spice Farming Business Ideas

Apart from the whole seed, several products are made from black peppers. In addition, revenue-wise organically grown black peppers have more commercial value than inorganically grown spices.