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9 months ago


Resource by Plusfarm

Chilli/Hot pepper popularly known as Pilipili kali in Kenya is increasingly becoming one of the hottest crops for farmers and a household ingredient. They are grown mostly for their fresh fruits used to flavour soups and stews and for seasoning and making sauces.


Long cayenne chilli

Cayenne peppers are a group of tapering, 10 to 25 cm long, generally skinny, mostly red-coloured

African bird eye

Small, tapering fruits, often two or three, at a node. The fruits are very pungent. The bird's eye chilli is small but is quite hot.


Red Fresno chilli peppers are small, slightly curved to straight pods, averaging 5 to 7 centimetres in length, and have a conical shape


Bullet chilli peppers are small, tapered pods, averaging 1 to 4 centimetres in diameter and 3 to 6 centimetres in length, and are conical, straight, to slightly curved in shape with a the pointed, non-stem end. The smooth, glossy, and thin skin ripens from dark green to bright red when mature.


Growing location: 

Soil PH: 5.5 to 7 

Altitude: preferably 1500 meters above sea level 

Total Production time: 5 months and above


 It cannot tolerate acidic nor alkaline soil. 

•Grow well on soil types from sandy loams to heavier clay soils. 

•Perform best on heavier soils with CEC (cation exchange capacity) ratings greater than 12.

 •May require supplemental fertility throughout the growing season on lighter-textured soils.

 •Require good drainage to minimize soil-borne fungal diseases.


 Fertility requirements 

Chilli and capsicum respond well to the application of fertilizers both under irrigated and rainfed conditions.

Heavy application of organic manures is followed in irrigated areas. Usually, FYM at 25-30 t/ha is incorporated in the soil before transplanting.

Good fertile soils with hummus are most desirable for growing chilies. Heavy application of N fertilizers may increase vegetative growth and delay maturity.

Application of nitrogenous fertilizer delayed flowering by five days while application of phosphorous at the rate of 250 kg' P2O5/ha reduced days to flowering by 13 days. in cv. 'California Wonder'.

Nitrogen fertilization increased growth, dry matter production, and nitrogen uptake.

It was further observed that nitrogen fertilized plants were able to partition a greater proportion of their dry matter into the fruit. Higher harvest index, fruit fresh and dry weight, volume, and pericarp thickness was observed up to 180 kg N/ha.

 •Peppers require relatively high fertility. 

•Incorporate legume/cereal cover crop and 5–7 tons/acre of compost before planting.

•Peppers may require supplemental fertility to maintain growth and good fruit production the greenhouse 

•Buy fresh seed every year. 

•Start plants in the greenhouse early to mid-February, 8–10 weeks before transplanting.

•Use heat mats under seed flats to promote seed germination.

Bed spacing 

•Plant peppers in a single line on beds spaced 36” center to center; single line planting facilitates cultivation. 

•Plant in double lines on beds spaced 40–60” center to center (standard spacing in most production systems). 

Double lines may help shade fruit and protect against “sunburn.” Plant spacing

•1–2’ between plants, depending on row spacing and growth habit of the variety.

•Total plant populations of 12,000–14,000 plants per acre, vary depending on spacing and growth habit.

Planting depth 

•Place transplants as deep as possible into pre-irrigated beds that have adequately dried down while keeping all foliage above ground. Irrigation

 •Drip tape facilitates uniform water application, saves on water costs, and minimizes both weed and disease pressure.

 •Avoid excessive soil moisture to prevent Phytophthora spp. (root rot). Days to maturity

•Depends on varieties and weather conditions—most peppers are ready to harvest approximately 90 days after transplanting.


•For small-scale production (blocks < 1 acre), harvest into 5-gallon buckets; walk buckets to the edge of the field for sorting/packing.

 •Cull in the field: pick and discard fruit that is sunburned, insect-damaged or has had soil contact that will cause rotting


Pests and Diseases / Commonly Used Agrochemicals

Disease and Symptoms

Active Ingredient

Commonly used Agrochemicals


Wilting and stunted growth, Brown foliage

Metalaxyl-M, Mancozeb


Mancozeb + Cymoxanil 




Circular black or brown sunken lesions on fruit

Wet centers of lesions become purplish colored due to a mass of fungal spores.

Azoxystrobin and


Mancozeb + Cymoxanil



AGROMAX MZ720 WP Wettable Powder

Bacterial wilt

Circular black or brown sunken lesions

When wet the centers of lesions become purplish colored due to a mass of fungal spores. Water-soaked sunken lesions

Acibenzolar-S-Methyl (50.0%

 methyl bromide, 1,3-dichloropropene, or

Metam Sodium with Chloropicrin 

Copper hydroxide



Soil fumigants



Bacterial Canker

Scabby canker spots on the fruits.

Local lesions on fruits, stems and leaves,does not induce systemic infection on the plant.

Copper Oxychloride 500g/Kg

Copper hydroxide




Bacterial Soft Rot

Internal tissue of the fruit softens, turns into a watery mass, and produces a foul smell.  

Copper oxychloride Immunomodulator

Sulcop 50DF 

Enrich BM

Powdery Mildew

Whitish talcum-like powdery growth on the upper leaf surface

Severely infected parts become chlorotic and eventually die.  Stunted growth is evident.



Carbendazim + Triadimefon

Azoxystrobin 250g/L

Domain 25% EC

Milestone 250SC

Ransom 600WP


Phytophthora Blight

Foliar blight, fruit rot, and root rot spread very fast when humidity and temperature are high. In severe cases, wilting occurs and the crop dies within a few days.

Dimethomorph + Mancozeb

ACROBAT MZ Wettable Powder


Dimethomorph 90g/Kg + Mancozeb

Fusarium Wilt

Vein clearing on young leaves and dropping of older lower leaves. Turn yellow and wilt. Brownish vascular tissues




PEARL 20ml/20ltr.

Root Rot

Stunted yellow seedlings; discoloration of stem cortex when sliced lengthwise, stunted roots






Early blight

Initially, small dark spots on older foliage, leaf spots are round and brown, larger spots have target-like concentric rings

Metalaxyl+ mancozeb

Metalaxyl M+ mancozeb Mancozeb 80%

Copper hydroxide



Oshothane plus WDG

Vitra 40 WG

Late Blight

Firm, dark brown circular spots grow to cover a large part of the fruit, spots become mushy and secondary bacteria invade

Mancozeb 80 %


Copper sulphate Pentahydrate 213.6.g/L

Oshothane 80WP



PLUSFARM KENYA                                            Feeding Africa Sustainably


Pest and Symptoms

Active Ingredient

Commonly used Agrochemicals


Causes leave to yellow and distorted, necrotic spots on leaves and stunted shoots; the presence of honeydew which encourages the growth of sooty mold on the plants.


Thiamethoxam 25%

lambda cyhalothrin

 ACHOOK 0.15% EC




Stems of young transplants or seedlings may be severed at soil line; the presence of leaf pieces partly pulled down into the soil and plants fall over 


Lambda Cyhalothrin

HYCARB 85 WP Wettable powder;

SEVIN 85 S Wettable powder 

Duduthrin 1.75


Whiteflies excrete honeydew, a clear, sugary liquid. This honeydew covers the lower leaves and supports the growth of black sooty mold, which may coat the entire plant.











Damage to the roots, leading even to the death of rootstocks of Solanaceae fruit crops

Fosthiazate 150g/l


Flea beetle

Chewing damage on leaves results in a characteristic pitting or shot-holing. When leaves of host plants are waxy and thick



Leaf miner

Mines are usually partially filled with frass and are irregular in shape. Tissue death (necrosis), during serious infestations, the leaves can become skeletonized. 

Abamectin 18g/L




AVID 1.8 EC 


voliam targo; ampligo



Prefer leaves and stems, but they may also occur underneath the crown of the fruit and even inside the fruit itself.

Lambdacyhalothrin 17.5g/l ,Lufenuron

Jackpot 50 EC, match 050 EC

PLUSFARM KENYA                                                               Feeding Africa Sustainably

Post Harvest

 Post-harvest handling

 Proper cooling of chillies extends the shelf life by slowing respiration, water loss, color change, and decay. Temperatures higher than 70°F (21°C) greatly accelerate ripening through respiration and ethylene production. Preferred cooling methods for chilies are room cooling and forced-air cooling. Cooling and storage are independent operations and the specific requirements for rapid cooling should therefore be considered separately from cold storage needs. Room cooling exposes fresh produce to cold air in a refrigerated space. Bins or boxes must be stacked properly to permit airflow between the individual storage units. Room coolers can be partitioned into sections so that recently harvested chilies with high field heat are kept separate from previously cooled produce. Powerful fans and ceiling jets can be used to increase the airflow and, consequently, the cooling efficiency of room coolers. Forced-air cooling is an active cooling process and is much faster at removing field heat than room cooling. With forced-air cooling, fans pull cool air through the boxes or bins of produce. Room coolers can be modified into forced-air coolers relatively quickly and inexpensively by adding extra fans and partitions. Forced-air evaporative cooling is a system that uses evaporative coolers instead of refrigeration units. . An evaporative cooler is more energy efficient than mechanical refrigeration, and growers can build their own systems. Forced-air evaporative coolers can lower the product temperature to about 60°F (16°C) and are most useful for chilling sensitive commodities (such as chilies) intended for a local market. The optimum storage conditions for fresh chilies are 45 to 50°F (7-10°C) and 90 to 95% relative humidity. Chilling injury occurs at lower temperatures. The symptoms of chilling injury are softening, pitting, and an increased susceptibility to decay. Freeze damage occurs at 32°F (0°C). Most fresh chilies can be stored for 2 to 3 weeks if kept cool at the proper temperature. Chiles should be shipped on refrigerated trucks, but these vehicles should not be used for pre-cooling because refrigerated trailers do not have adequate cooling capacity or ventilation to remove field heat quickly

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