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.
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.
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.
•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.
•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.
•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
Commonly used Agrochemicals
Wilting and stunted growth, Brown foliage
Mancozeb + Cymoxanil
RIDOMIL GOLD® MZ 68WG
Circular black or brown sunken lesions on fruit
Wet centers of lesions become purplish colored due to a mass of fungal spores.
Mancozeb + Cymoxanil
AMISTAR TOP® 325SC
AGROMAX MZ720 WP Wettable Powder
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
methyl bromide, 1,3-dichloropropene, or
Metam Sodium with Chloropicrin
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
Bacterial Soft Rot
Internal tissue of the fruit softens, turns into a watery mass, and produces a foul smell.
Copper oxychloride Immunomodulator
Whitish talcum-like powdery growth on the upper leaf surface
Severely infected parts become chlorotic and eventually die. Stunted growth is evident.
Carbendazim + Triadimefon
Domain 25% EC
AMITIV 250 SC
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
Vein clearing on young leaves and dropping of older lower leaves. Turn yellow and wilt. Brownish vascular tissues
Stunted yellow seedlings; discoloration of stem cortex when sliced lengthwise, stunted roots
RODAZIM 50 SC
RIDOMIL GOLD SL
Initially, small dark spots on older foliage, leaf spots are round and brown, larger spots have target-like concentric rings
Metalaxyl M+ mancozeb Mancozeb 80%
RIDOMIL GOLD MZ 68 WG
Oshothane plus WDG
Vitra 40 WG
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
PLUSFARM KENYA Feeding Africa Sustainably
Pest and Symptoms
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.
ACHOOK 0.15% EC
ACTARA 25 WG
KARATE 2.5 WG
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
HYCARB 85 WP Wettable powder;
SEVIN 85 S Wettable powder
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
Chewing damage on leaves results in a characteristic pitting or shot-holing. When leaves of host plants are waxy and thick
ACTELLIC 25 EC
Mines are usually partially filled with frass and are irregular in shape. Tissue death (necrosis), during serious infestations, the leaves can become skeletonized.
AVID 1.8 EC
IMAXI 200 SC
voliam targo; ampligo
BAMAKO 700 WG
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
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