Cultural activities led throughout pepper cycleFarmers’ practicesResearch recommendations or Standard recommendationUPL-SPF cropping solutions
Soil, climate requirement Pepper species are very sensitive to moisture; they grow well when rainfall is established and require frequent irrigation in the dry season. Pepper growth and fruit setting is maximized at 18–29°C daily temperature and 16-210C night temperature). Pepper requires free draining fertile and non-saline soil rich in organic matter (sandy or silt loam). Optimum soil pH for pepper production is 7.0-8.5.
Crop Season (sowing window)Pepper is significantly cultivated in the dry season between the months of October and February (around the same time for growing tomato).
Variety/hybridCommon varieties among farmers include Sakarho, Kashin Burgu, Kimba, Samaru square Big. The two main species of pepper in Nigeria are Capsicum annum and Capsicum frutescens. C. annum varieties: Samaru square Big, Caloro, Hungarian Yellow Max, Anaheim M, Bell Boy, Carlifornia Long Slim. C. frutescens varieties: L.2089, L.2096, L.3876, L.2188, L.2289, L.2025, Jemage, Sakarho, Kashin Burgu, Kimba.
Pre-sowing activities
-preparation of landLand clearance which involves bush burning as opposed to chemical herbicides (pre-emergence) application is an aspect of land preparation. Ploughing, harrowing, and bed preparation (to facilitate moisture retention in irrigated pepper) are carried out after the land clearance, but ridges are made for rain fed pepper production to minimize contact with water.The main field meant for pepper production should be ploughed where necessary, harrowed to fine tilth and ridged.
-sowing method, seed rateTransplanting is the most prevalent method of growing pepperPepper can be seeded directly as well as raised in the nursery before being transplanted into the main field. The seed rate for tomato is 0.4-0.6 kg of seed per hectare.
-plant population, spacingPepper is grown in a spacing of 25 cm intra and inter row spacing is a square pattern.Pepper seedlings are planted on ridges spaced at 75 x 40-60 cm apart.
Seedling (Nursery)No or less improved varieties seed supply. Pepper seeds are broadcasted in sunken beds and mulching materials are used to cover the seedlings, the mulch is removed some days after sowing in the nursery. Afterwards the seedlings are transplanted to the main field at 2-3 weeks after sowing. No substratum fertilization before sowing - To supply improved seed for their resistant to pests, diseases and abiotic stresses - nursery can be raised in containers or seedbeds - Proper soil mixture should be used for container nursery - Sterilization of the ground - The seedbed should be raised 10-15 cm during rainy season to facilitate drainage or sunken 10-15 cm in the dry season to conserve moisture - The size of the bed should be 1-1.5 and of any convenient length - seeds broadcast or drilled thinly (10-15cm apart) to avoid overcrowding - General rule for sowing seeds is to sow seeds 2-3 times their own thickness deep - Mulching after sowing, and remove it after 4 to 6 days (be sure that the seed grew) - Seedlings grown under small net-tunnels to prevent insect infestation. If non-insect proof nets are used, spray insecticides to control entry of whitefly or other insect into the structures.
Transplanting Seedlings from the nursery are transplanted 2-3 weeks after sowing into the main field; the plant stands are transplanted at 25 cm intra and inter row spacing in a square pattern.
Transplanting of not ready plant (still young for transplantation) No soil fertilization before transplanting No or bad seed bed confection 2 to 3 plants transplantation per hole
-transplant when atmosphere is cloudy, in the morning or evening - Transplantation of Seedlings with about 5-6 weeks old. - 5-20 t/ha of organic matter (poultry manure, compost) - The bed should be raised about 10-15 cm high - water the seed bed 6-12 hours before seedling removal to ensure that the plants are turgid and the roots retain soil when lifted - 1 plant transplanted per hole is advisable
IrrigationIrrigation water is applied from a nearby well or canal by method of surface irrigation where flooding is applied.Irrigation is necessary for dry season cropping. It is important to irrigate as often as necessary, the frequency of irrigation depends on the weather condition and soil type. Irrigation intervals of 5-7 days have been recommended depending on the crop growth stage, soil type and other weather conditions.Zeba application at transplanting will help to retain the moisture. It will help to reduce irrigation frequency and improve the water use efficiency of plant when water is not enough
StakingFarmers do not apply the practice of staking in pepper production,Improved varieties of pepper require staking with bamboo or other natural or artificial support at three weeks after transplanting and all time during plant growth according to the growth habit of the pepper.Farmers training support
Fertilization Organic fertilizer use is employed in pepper production. Mineral fertilization is carried out where the fertilizer is applied some inches away from the plant. * Before transplantation, apply 5-20 t/ha of poultry manure or farm yard manure during land preparation.
* Apply 250-300 kg NPK/ha in the soil at planting
* 65 kgN/ha should be applied in 2 split doses.
* The first dose should be applied at 2 weeks after transplanting as side dressing.
* The second dose should be applied at flowering as side dressing.
* Fertilizer should be applied 10 cm away from plant stand to avoid damage to the young plants
Training support
Upl foliar nutrition
Gainexa nutrient uptake, improve plant resistance to pest and disease, improve the quality and yield of tomato
Inter cultivation & Weed
Manual hoe and hand weeding is employed in small scale farming 2-3 times throughout the growth life cycle of the plant.Common weeds on pepper farm include * scarlet pimpernel (Anagallis arvensis): annual broad leaf herb * weeding should be done carefully to avoid damaging roots and flowers. 3-4 hoe weeding is required. Weeds can also be controlled using herbicides such as gramoxone, galex, sencor etc. followed by one supplementary hoe weeding)
Cropping pattern Pepper is intercropped with tomato, garden eggPepper is intercropped with tomato, garden egg
Pest and disease management:

* whitefly
Farmers have little knowledge regarding the identification and differentiation of insect pests; although neem seed extracts, wood ash and detergent solutions are used in managing insect pests. Traps, poisoned food are used in controlling rodents. Farmers have zero to little knowledge on identification of diseases of pepper. Thus finding it difficult in controlling diseasesWhitefly (Bemisia tabaci):
The damage the leaves Damage is caused by adult white fly Symptom Presence of group of white fly underside the leaf Yellowing, curling, crumpling of leaves occurs at heavy infestation. Identification Adult: The body and wings are covered in a powdery, white to slightly yellowish in colour Larva: yellow-white scales, 0.3-0.6 mm long Puparium: flat, irregular, oval shape, 0.7 mm long Management - Remove crop debris, weeds and other sources of thrips at the end of each crop - Plough and keep fields fallow for 3–4 weeks to allow thrips to emerge and disperse - Reduce cultivation within the field to avoid movement of thrips from infected plants - Protect transplants with mesh netting (40-mesh or higher) to exclude thrips - Soil drenching of tomato seedlings with imidacloprid or neem is recommended to protect the crop from whitefly. A subsequent spraying after few weeks will prolong the protection - Chemicals control - Spray Azadirachtin 0.03% (50 ml/20L water) 15 days when symptoms appear - Dimethoate (250g/l) + Cypermethrin (35g/l)
For caterpillar and sucking pest use of lancer gold Bifentrinn+acetamiprid for white fly. Use of spiromesifen and abamectin in rotation to manage the mites issue Use of copper based compound control bacterial blight Saaf mancozeb+carbendazim to be used during seedling and growing stage From the flowering to fruit development,;use of Glory to control early and late blight Root knot nematodes-bionematicide is available with Upl, it will take one year to introduce the product.
* Spider mites
Spider mites: They attack tomato leaves Damage is caused by adult spider mite Symptoms * Damage shows up first, as a stippling of light dots on the leaves; sometimes the leaves take on a bronze color. * As feeding continues, the leaves turn yellowish or reddish and drop off. * Large amounts of webbing cover leaves, twigs, and fruit. * Damage is usually worse when compounded by water stress. Identification Adult mites have eight legs and an oval body with two red eyespots near the head end. They usually appear as tiny moving dots Management Cultural practices include : * Uproot all infected plants, dry and burn the stalks outside the field * Use tolerant varieties * Practice crop rotation - Protect the plant with anti-insect net help to reduce spider mite incidence - Spray Abamectin0.5ml/L, Amitraz. 0.5ml/L
* Rootknot nematode
Rootknot nematode:
They cause damage to plant roots Sypmtoms * Wilting and yellowing of plants * Stunted growth Management Cultural practices * Rogue and burn affected plants * Remove galled roots * Application of poultry manure or cow dung at a rate of 5t/ha can boost crop vigour and reduce nematode infestation on the crop - French marigold (Tagetes patula) or African marigold (T. erecta) are very effective trap crops in lowering the rootknot nematode density in soil - African lettuce (Launeae taraxacifolia) in rotation with tomato or pepper reduce the rootknot nematode density in soil.
Bacterial wilt disease
Symptoms * wilting of the plant, often without yellowing of the leaves * presence of water soaked tissue which later turn brown and leave hollow in the plant stem * emission of milky ooze when infested stem is suspended in water Management * plant resistance varieties * crop rotation * uproot all infected plants, dry and burn the stalks outside the field
* Fungal disease Late blight of tomato

Late blight of tomato (Phytophthora infestans): * They affect the leaves, stems and fruits. Symptoms * Early symptoms look like green water soaked spots which turn into irregular brown necrotic lesions on leaves. * Brown lesions develop on the fruits and stems in the later stage of the disease Management Cultural practices - Resistant varieties - Remove and burn infected plants - Infested soil mixing with cassava peeling (8 t/ha) help low the infestation level - Use of neem crab manure (AgroBio at 3 t/ha) Chemical control * Rain mancoz 80WP) Apply at a rate of 24-2g/15L * Apply Maneb (Trimaneb 80WP or Kadmaneb 80WP) at a rate of 2.3-4.3ml/L * Apply Azoxystrobin 500g/kg (e.g.Skyrobin) at a rate of 0.8mls/L * Apply Azoxystrobin 200g/l and Difenconazole 125g/l Amistar Top 325SC) at0.8ml/L
Pepper anthracnose
Pepper anthracnose: They are caused by fungus Colletotrichum capsici They attack fruit of pepper and other vegetables like tomato Symptms - First notable symptom is small, slightly sunken, dark yellow spots on the fruit surface. - The spots darken, enlarge and merge during wet weather or when humidity is high - Ring-like dark spots - Post-harvest rots are also common Management * Cultural control * Use disease free seeds * Use resistance varieties * Control weeds and volunteer plants Chemical control - application of mancozeb chemicals like Sarozeb (mancozeb 80% WP)
* HarvestFruits are ready for harvest when fruits change from green colour to red. This change in colour signifies ripening. Pepper fruits are picked more than once at regular interval. At 2-3 months after transplanting, fruits are ready for harvesting (during this period, they turn from green to red or yellow while green pepper are harvested before any red coloration develops). Fruits are snipped off at regular intervals by hand and carried from the fields in buckets and sacks and care should be taken to avoid damaging the stem or branches (as they can easily be broken) resulting in consequent yield reduction.
Storage Farmers store pepper in dried form in baskets, bags. Farmers don’t use chemical treatment for pepper storage.UNISHIELD: USE UNISHIED (ALP) @ 2-3 TAB/TONNE TO IMPROVE PEPPER SHELF LIFE