Sattari farmer successfully grows multi-spice Kerala pepper variant | Goa News

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Panaji: Variety is the spice of life, they say. This couldn’t be truer for Sattari farmer Dhiraj Bhide who has with success become unique variant of pepper. Originally from Kerala, this multi-spice pepper is considered aromatic and flavorful and has shown successful yield in Goa when tested. Popularly grown by farmers in Idukki district of Kerala, the variant is called Thekken pepper.
“After finding out about it on social media, we decided to source it from Kerala and grow it here. It took five years for the harvest to bear fruit,” Bhide said. He grew 300 plants from the variant so far and harvested 10 kg of peppercorns.
The Thekken pepper variant is known for its highly branched spikes, which result in a high yield. Unlike the regular chilli, which has one berry per spike, on this variant, 30-40 berries can be found on a single spike.
“The spiciness of this pepper is very good compared to other varieties. The climatic conditions of Goa and Kerala are slightly different, but we can anticipate a good harvest,” Bhide said.
Currently, the bush pepper variant is widely grown in Goa. The main requirement for this variant is shade and farmers here have worked around this by interspersing the vines with coconut palms or erecting vertical gardens.
An estimated 848 acres of land is used for the cultivation of bush pepper in Goa. Figures shared by the agriculture directorate also show that Goa recorded a production of 380 tonnes of pepper in 2020-21.
Agriculture experts are now optimistic that the Thekken pepper variant can also perform well. “Commercial cultivation of this crop is possible here,” said agriculture official Sanjeev Mayekar.
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