Favourable conditions lift chances of normal pepper output

Kochi, May 29 | Updated: May 30 2007, 05:30am hrs
The weather, including the onset of monsoon has so far been conducive for the pepper crop in the state, according to the scientists at the Kozhikode based Indian Institute of Spices Research.

The summer showers, essential for spike initiation was favourable and a timely and normal monsoon could lead to normal production. Pepper is a rain fed crop grown under tropical humid climate in India with the quantum and distribution of rainfall determining the annual yield of the crop, agronomist K Kandiannan told FE.

The pepper farming areas of the state like Wayanad and Idukki have received the essential pre-monsoon showers and the timely monsoon augurs well for the crop, he said. Moderate stress (dry period) during February-March was also favourable for good spiking. It is essential that once spike initiation is set, there should not be any dry spell until berry maturity, Kandiannan added.

Once monsoon sets, spike initiation in black pepper crop could be seen along with the emergence of new leaf on lateral branch within a week. It takes 6 to 8 months for maturity depending on variety, altitudes, and other crop management practices, he said. However, the neglect of the pepper vines for the last three-four years could be a major factor in the final production.