Colored capsicum is also popular as bell pepper and sweet pepper. Here in this article, we intend to explore how to start commercial colored capsicum cultivation for profit. The content includes open fields, under greenhouse, and playhouse technology.
Basically, capsicum is an important ingredient in cooking. Generally, it comes under the spice segment. The method of growing capsicum is simple. And farming under a controlled atmosphere brings more yield and profit than the open field.
Generally, green, orange, yellow, and red are the most common and popular types of capsicum you can find globally. Also, there are bell peppers in chocolate, brown, vanilla, lavender, white, and purple color. However, the color variety depends on the time of harvest and the degree of ripening. When you harvest the bell pepper early then it is green capsicum.
Red, orange, and yellow bell peppers are always riper than green ones. Therefore, they require more tone on the ground before they can be harvested. Hence, colored capsicum comes as more costly than green one.
The scientific name of bell pepper is Capsicum Annuum. And it belongs to the Nightshade family. It is rich in vitamin-A, C, and minerals.
Why is Colored Capsicum Cultivation Profitable?
Simply, there are several reasons that bell pepper or capsicum cultivation is a highly profit-making business. If you have sufficient land (at least 1 acre), you must think of growing capsicum. However, the business demands moderate cash investment for getting maximum profit.
- First of all, colored capsicum is a high-value vegetable. So, it ensures a lucrative revenue return.
- You can store this item in the cold storage facility for a maximum of one month.
- Additionally, you can grow the capsicum throughout the year under the protected structure.
- Finally, organically grown colored capsicums fetch a high profit. Basically, these are the perfect items for selling from shopping malls, supermarkets, and online marketplaces.
Economic Importance of Colored Capsicum
Globally, you can find capsicum farming in most parts. Especially, you can find it in the temperate regions of Central and South America and European countries, as tropical and subtropical regions of the Asian continent mainly in India and China.
Nowadays, due to increasing demand by urban consumers, more farmers are showing interest. Colored capsicums are in great demand in urban markets. The demand is mostly driven by the hotel and catering industries. There is a good demand for export too. However, the export market needs fruits with longer shelf life. Also, it needs medium size, tetra-lobed fruits with attractive dark color, mild pungency, and good taste.
Different Regional Names of Colored Capsicum
- ‘Shimla Mirch‘ in Hindi
- ‘Pedda Mirappa‘ in Telugu
- ‘Kuda Milagai‘ in Tamil
- ‘Parangi Mulagu‘ in Malayalam
- ‘Donne Menasinakai‘ in Kannada
- ‘Bhopli Mirchi‘ in Marathi
- ‘Simla Marchan‘ in Gujarati
- ‘Simla Mirch‘ in Bengali.
Health Benefits of Colored Capsicum
First of all, bell peppers contain plenty of vitamin C. However, you can find the highest amount of Vitamin C in the red variety.
Additionally, colored capsicums contain several phytochemicals and carotenoids, particularly beta-carotene.
Additionally, these are a good source of Vitamin E. Actually, Vitamin E is known to play a key role in keeping skin and hair looking youthful.
Also, it contains vitamin B6, which is essential for the health of the nervous system and helps renew cells.
Red bell peppers help in activating thermogenesis and increase the metabolic rate. Hence, it supports weight loss.
Things to Consider in Commercial Colored Capsicum Cultivation
In commercial cultivation, the production method is the most important aspect you need to consider carefully. Generally, playhouse or greenhouse farming ensures better yield and profitability. However, it demands an upfront capital investment for infrastructure building. And if you want to start with a low investment, then you can consider open-field cultivation.
Secondly, you need to arrange a proper irrigation facility. Drip irrigation is the most suitable way of watering in colored capsicum cultivation.
Additionally, you must provide the proper care and management to the farm. And plant protection is the most important part of that.
Finally, colored capsicums are highly perishable items. So, you must arrange proper post-harvest management for reducing the loss.
Best Varieties for Colored Capsicum Cultivation
Regardless of the production technology you opt for capsicum farming, you must choose the variety very carefully. Most of the capsicum hybrids produce green fruits that mature to red, orange, or yellow depending on the hybrid.
However, the fruits must have a uniform size and shape preferably four lobes, fruit weight of >150g. In addition to that, they must be in uniform color after attaining complete maturity, with a better shelf life of more than 5 days under ambient conditions. Also, you need to select the variety that ensures a high yield.
Some of the most popular commercial hybrids in India include Indra, Yamuna (Green); Bombay, Triple star, Natasha, Inspiration, Passarella (Red); Sunnyez, Swarna, Orobelle, Bachata (Yellow).
Suitable Soil for Colored Capsicum Cultivation
In commercial farming, you must select the site very carefully. Even, if you don’t have your own land, you can consider having the land on rent. In that case, you must have the rent agreement for at least 4 to 5 years. Because you must use the greenhouse or shade net infrastructure completely.
Places having high rainfall and humidity are not suitable for their cultivation since this encourages many foliar diseases. Also, the areas with high wind velocity are not suitable since they are likely to damage the structure and the polyethylene sheet frequently, thereby enhancing the maintenance cost of the structure.
Generally, colored capsicums prefer well-drained sandy loam soils having good percolation. The soil pH of 6 to 7 and EC < 1 mm hos/cm is ideal for growing capsicums.
Colored Capsicum Production Technology
This is the most common practice among small and marginal farmers. The traditionally grown green capsicum, depending upon variety and season, usually yields 20-40 tons per hectare in about 4-5 months.
In the greenhouse, the crop duration of green and colored capsicums is about 7 -10 months and yields about 80-100 t per hectare. Generally, greenhouse farming protects fruits from rain, wind, and high temperatures. Hence, it helps to minimize the damage of insect pests and diseases thereby improving the quality and yield.
Generally, using shade nets for creating net houses is a more cost-effective method than the greenhouse. Over the GI wire grid, you can fix a 50% HDPE white shade net to support another layer of shade net (green or black with 35% shade), which is movable or retractable.
Poly house gives better protection compared to net house due to total avoidance of rainwater entry into the polyhouse. Hence leaf diseases can be easily controlled. Yield is normally 15-20% more in the poly house compared to the et house. Generally, you can use GI pipes for the playhouse construction.
Colored Capsicum Farming Basic Steps
First of all, you need good-quality seeds for producing quality seedlings. Generally, you need about 16,000 to 20,000 to plant one acre. And for which, you need 160-200 gm of seeds. Seeds germinate in about a week’s time after sowing.
You need to prepare the land properly. Generally, you can apply well-decomposed organic manure at the rate of 20-25 kg per sq meter with soil. Between the beds, provide walking space of 45 cm to 50 cm.
You need to apply fertilizer according to the soil testing report of the land. Sometimes, it needs to apply base fertilizer for effective results. Before transplantation, you can also consider applying neem cake.
Generally, drip irrigation is the most effective way of watering in commercial farming. However, you can go for other options too. Apply irrigation according to the specific requirements of your area.
First of all, apply water to the land before transplanting. Basically, you can use seedlings 30-35 days old for transplantation. Ensure that roots are not getting damaged at the time of transplantation.
In commercial farming, you must provide proper plant protection care and management. Identifying diseases and pest attacks at an early time is highly important. Some of the most potentially harmful pests and insects are Thrips, Mites, Aphids, Fruit borers, Nematodes, etc. Some of the diseases that affect frequently are Damping-off, Powdery mildew, Cercospora leaf spot, Phytophthora, Viral Diseases, etc.
Harvesting & Yield of Colored Capsicum
Generally, the early morning hours are best suited for capsicum harvest. You can harvest the green capsicum at 55 to 60 days after transplanting, the yellow capsicum at 70-75 days, and the red capsicum at 80-90 days. After harvest, you must keep the fruits in a cool place to avoid direct exposure to sunlight.
There are several options available for packaging. You can pack the graded colored capsicum either in CFB cartoons or by shrink wrapping. However, you need to provide proper packaging according to the transportation and storage requirements.
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