Chilly Crop

General Information

It is known as the most valuable crop of India. It is used as a principle ingredient of various curries and chutneys, also used in vegetables, spices, condiments, sauces and pickles. Pungency in chillies is due to the active constituent "Capsaicin", an alkaloid. The native home of chilli is considered to be Mexico with secondary origin of Guatemala. Chilli was introduced in India by the Portuguese in Goa in the middle of 17th century and since then it had rapidly spread throughout the country. Capsaicin has many medicinal properties, especially as an anti-cancerous agent and instant pain reliever. It also prevents heart diseases by dilating blood vessels. Major chilli growing countries are India, China, Pakistan, Indonesia, Korea, Turkey and Sri Lanka in Asia; Nigeria, Ghana, Tunisia and Egypt in Africa; Mexico, United States of America in North & Central America; Yugoslavia, Spain, Romania, Bulgaria, Italy and Hungary in Europe and Argentina, Peru and Brazil in South America. India is the world leader in chilli production followed by China & Pakistan. Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Orissa, Tamil Nadu, Bihar, UP and Rajasthan are the main chilly growing states.

Climate

  • Season

    Temperature

    18-40°C
  • Season

    Rainfall

    625-1500mm
  • Season

    Sowing Temperature

    35-40°C
  • Season

    Harvesting Temperature

    35-40°C
  • Season

    Temperature

    18-40°C
  • Season

    Rainfall

    625-1500mm
  • Season

    Sowing Temperature

    35-40°C
  • Season

    Harvesting Temperature

    35-40°C
  • Season

    Temperature

    18-40°C
  • Season

    Rainfall

    625-1500mm
  • Season

    Sowing Temperature

    35-40°C
  • Season

    Harvesting Temperature

    35-40°C
  • Season

    Temperature

    18-40°C
  • Season

    Rainfall

    625-1500mm
  • Season

    Sowing Temperature

    35-40°C
  • Season

    Harvesting Temperature

    35-40°C

Soil

Chilli is grown in many types of soils-sandy to heavy clay. A well-drained, fairly light fertile loam with a fair moisture holding capacity is ideal. The light soils produce better quality fruits than heavy soils. Chilli crop prefers a soil reaction ranging from pH 6–7.

Popular Varieties With Their Yield

CH-1: It is developed by PAU, Ludhiana. Plants are medium tall with medium size light green fruits turning deep red on ripening. Fruits are highly pungent and attractive. Tolerant to fruit rot and wet rot. It gives average yield of 96qtl of red chilli/acre.

CH-3:
It is developed at PAU, Ludhiana. Fruit length more than CH-1. Capsicum content 0.52%. It gives average yield of 105qtl of red chilli/acre.

CH-27:
Plants are tall and continue to bear fruits for a long time. Fruits are medium long (6.7 cm), thin skinned, light green when immature and deep red when mature. It is resistant to leaf curl virus, fruit rot and root knot nematodes and tolerant to sucking pests such as mite. Average yield of red ripe fruits is 96 qtl/ acre.

Punjab Sindhuri: Plants are dark green, compact and medium tall. It is an early maturing variety and first picking (red fruits) is possible 75 days after transplanting. Fruits are long (7.14cm), thick skinned, dark green when immature and deep red when mature. Average yield of red ripe fruits is 70-75 qtl/acre.

Punjab Tej: Plants are light green, spreading and medium tall. It is an early maturing variety and first picking (red fruits) is possible 75 days after transplanting. Fruits are long (6.80cm), thin skinned, light green when immature and deep red when mature. Average yield of red ripe fruits is 60 qtl/acre.

Punjab Surkh: This variety has dark green color leaves having long fruits of 7cm. Fruits are green when immature but turns dark red at maturity. It is used for making salad and for drying purposes. It is resistant to fruit rot and mosaic virus. It gives average yield of 80 qtl per acre.

Pusa Jwala: Plants are dwarf, bushy, light green. Fruits are 9-10 cm long, light green, highly pungent, fairly tolerant to thrips and mites. Average yield of 34 qtl/acre (green) and 7 qtl/acre (dry).

Pusa Sadabahar: Plants are erect, perennial (2-3 years), 60-80 cm tall, fruits are 6-8cm long, born in clusters with 6-14 fruits/cluster, ripe fruits dark red, highly pungent, resistant to CMV, TMV and leaf curl complex, first picking in 75-80 days after transplanting. Average yield of 38 qtl/acre (green) and 8 qtl/acre (dry).

Arka Meghana: High yielding hybrid with resistant to powdery mildew and viruses. Fruits are of length 10.6cm and width 1.2 cm. Fruits are dark green and turn to red on maturity. Gives average yield of 134 qtl/acre green chilli and 20 qtl/acre dry chilli.

Arka Sweta: High yielding hybrid for fresh market. Suitable for cultivation in kharif and rabi seasons under irrigated conditions. Fruits length is 11-12 cm, width 1.2-1.5 cm. They are smooth and medium pungent. Fruits are light green and turn red at maturity. Tolerant to viruses. Yield 132 qtl/acre (fresh) and 20 qtl/acre (dry).

Kashi Early: Plants of are tall (100-110 cm height) without nodal pigmentation on dull green stems and bear pendant fruits. Fruits are long (8-9 x 1.0-1.2 cm), attractive, dark green and turn bright red at physiological maturity, pungent with smooth surface. First picking of the green fruits starts at about 45days after transplanting. Average yield of this hybrid is 100 qtl/acre (red ripe).

Kashi Surkh: Plants are semi determinate (1-1.2 m), erect and nodal pigmentation on stem. Fruits are light green, straight, length 11-12 cm, suitable for green as well as red fruit production. First harvest starts after 55 days of transplanting. Green fruit yield is 100qtl/acre.

Kashi Anmol: Plants are determinate, dwarf (60-70 cm) with nodal pigmentation on stem and bear green attractive pendant fruits. First picking starts from 55 days after transplanting. It gives average yield of 80 qtl/acre.

Pant C-1: This variety is easily distinguishable from the other varieties because of the fact that it has upright fruiting pods. The pods are highly pungent, relatively small in size, broader at the base and narrow towards the tip. It is moderately resistant to mosaic and leaf curl virus. The green pod yield of this variety is 32 qtl/acre. The dry pod yield is about 6 qtl/acre.

Other state varieties:

Kashi Vishwanath

Sankeshwar:
Mild flavour, long and red color variety. It is suitable for export.

Byadgi (Kaddi):
Mild flavour, long and bright red color variety.

Dabbi:
Mild flavour, long and thick blackish variety.

Land Preparation

Carry out ploughing for 2-3 times and clod crushing after each ploughing. Add compost or Farm Yard Manure @150-200 qtl/acre and mix well in the soil 15-20 days before sowing. Form ridges and furrows at spacing of 60cm. Apply 0.8 kg/acre of Azospirillum and 0.8 kg/acre of Phosphobacteria by mixing with 20 kg of FYM.

IMP: Do not cultivate Tomato and Chilly crop in same field or in nearby field, as pest and diseases are similar. Also spread anthracnose and bacterial disease. When it is intercropped with onion and coriander, it gives additional income also helps in controlling weed population. For nematodes control, take onion, garlic or merry gold as intercrop.

 

Nursery Management And Transplanting

Nursery Preparation: Form raised beds of 1 m width and convenient length. Mix sterilized cocopeat@300kg with 5 kg neem cake along with Azospirillum and phosphobacteria each@1kg.
Approximately 1.2 kg of cocopeat is required for filling one protray. 120 protrays are required for the production of 11,600 seedlings, which are required for one acre land.
Sow the treated seed in protrays@1 seed per cell. Cover the seed with cocopeat and keep the trays one above the other and cover with a polythene sheet till germination starts. After sowing of seeds in nursery, cover bed with 400 mesh nylon net or thin white cloth. It helps to protect seedlings from pest-disease attack. After 6 days place the protrays with germinated seedlings individually on the raised beds inside the shade net. Water with rose can everyday upto seed germination. Drench with 19:19:19 @ 0.5% (5gm/Ltr) at 18 days after sowing.

Transplantation in Field:
After 30-40 days, seedlings are ready for transplantation. For transplantation 6-8 week old or 15-20 cm height seedlings are selected.

Sowing

Time of sowing
The ideal time for raising nursery is from October end to mid of November. Cover the nursery area with 50 % shade net and cover the sides using 40 / 50 mesh insect proof nylon net. Seedlings are ready for transplantation in 30-40 days (Usually in February - March).

Spacing
Use row to row spacing of 75 cm and plant to plant spacing of 45 cm.
 
Method of sowing
Transplantation method is used.

Seed

Seed Rate
For varieties use seed rate of 200 gm/acre and 80-100 gm/acre for hybrids.

Seed Treatment
To protect crop from various soil borne disease seed treatment is necessary. Before sowing do seed treatment with Thiram@3gm or Carbendazim@2gm/kg. After chemical treatment, treat seed with Trichoderma@5gm/kg or Pseudomonas fluorescens@10gm/kg. Keep it in shade and use it for sowing. Do watering with rosecan on daily basis. Drench the nursery with Copper oxychloride@2.5gm/ltr of water at 15days interval to prevent crop from damping off disease.

To protect against wilt, sucking pest, dip roots for 15 min in Trichoderma harzianum@20gm/Ltr+0.5ml/Ltr Imidacloprid before transplanting. Seedling inoculation with VAM supplemented with nitrogen fixing bacteria, save super phosphate by 50% along with saving of 25% nitrogen application.  

For seed treatment use any one fungicide from the following:

Fungicide name Quantity (Dosage per kg seed)
Carbendazim 2 gm
Thiram 3 gm

 

Fertilizer

Fertilizer Requirement (kg/acre)

UREA SSP MURIATE OF POTASH
55 75 20

 

Nutrient Value (kg/acre) 

NITROGEN PHOSPHORUS POTASH
25 12 12

 

Apply Nitrogen@25kg in form of Urea@55kg/acre, Phosphorus@12kg in form of Single Super Phosphate@75kg and Potash@12kg in form of MOP (Muriate of Potash)@20kg/acre. Apply half dose of Nitrogen and full dose of Phosphorus and Potash at time of transplanting. Apply remaining amount of nitrogen after first picking.

Also to obtain high yield take spray of MAP 12:61:00@75gm/15Ltr water at 40-45 days after transplanting at branch growing stage. To Increase yield along with to obtain more no of pickings, apply sulphur/Bensulf@10kg/acre and spray Calcium Nitrate@10gm/Ltr water in flowering stage.

Water Soluble Fertilizer: 10-15 days after transplantation, sprayed 19:19:19 with micronutrients@2.5-3gm/Ltr of water. Then after 40-45 days spraying of 20% Boron@1gm+Micronutrients@2.5-3gm/Ltr of water should be done. When crop is in flowering stage sprayed 0:52:34@4-5gm+micronutrients@2.5-3gm/Ltr of water. In fruiting stage sprayed 0:52:34@4-5gm+Boron@1gm/Ltr of water. When crop is fruit formation stage sprayed 13:0:45@4-5gm+Calcium nitrate@2-2.5gm/Ltr of water.

Growth regulators: To control flower drop and to get good quality fruit, take spray of NAA (naphthalene acetic acid)@4ml/15 ltr of water at flower initiation stage. Care during flowering & fruit set gives upto 20% more yield. Spray Homobrassinalide@5ml/10Ltr of water at flowering thrice at 15 days gap. To increase fruit set having good quality. Spray Triacontanol growth regulator at 1.25ppm(1.25ml/Ltr) on 20,40,60 and 80th day of planting.

Weed Control

Apply Pendimethalin @1ltr/acre or Fluchloralin @800ml/acre as pre-emergence herbicide followed by hand weeding once 30 days after planting. Carryout first weeding operation after 25 days of planting. Depending upon intensity, repeat weeding and keep field free of weeds.

Irrigation

It cant withstand heavy moisture so apply irrigation only when needed. Heavy irrigation causes lanky vegetative growth and flower drop. Number of irrigation and interval of irrigation depend on soil and climatic condition. If plant show dropping at 4 pm, it is indication of plant needed irrigation. Flowering and fruit development are most critical stages of water requirement. Stagnation of water should not be allowed in nursery and field as it causes fungal infection.

Plant protection

Fruit Borer
  • Pest and their control

Fruit borer: Caterpillar eat leaves of crop afterward they enter into fruit and caused heavy loss in yield management. Collect and destroyed damaged fruits and grown up caterpillars. Set up pheromone traps for Helicoverpa armigera or Spodoptera litura at 5 Nos./acre.

To control pod borers apply poison bait balls made up of bran-5 kg, Carbaryl-500 gm, Jaggery-500 gm and sufficient amount of water. If infestation of fruit borers is observed. spray Chlorpyrifos + Cypermethrin (Nurel-D/Amla) @30 ml+Teepol@0.5 ml in 12 Ltr of water with power sprayer. Spray with Emamectin benzoate 5% SG @4 gm/10 Ltr of water or Flubendiamide 20 WDG@6 gm/10 litre of water.

 

Mite

Mite: These are widely distributed pest observed throughout the world. It attacks on several crops like potato, chilli, beans, cotton, tobacco, curcurbit, castor, jute, coffee, lemon, citrus, blackgram, cowpea, pepper, tomato, sweet potato, mango, papaya, brinjal, guava. Nymphs and adults feed exclusively on the lower surface of the leaves. Infected leaves give cup shape appearance. Heavy infestation results in defoliation, bud shedding and drying of leaves.
 

If Infestation of yellow mite & thrips is observed in field, spray of Chlorfenapyr@1.5ml/Ltr, Abamectin@1.5ml/Ltr are found effective. Mite is a serious pest and it may cause yield loss up to 80%. For effective control spray Spiromesifen 22.9SC@200ml/acre/180Ltr of water.

Aphid

Aphid: They attack mostly in winter month and later stage of crop. They suck sap from the leaf. They excrete honey like substance and developed sooty mold i.e blackish colour fungus on the calyx and pods thus deteriorate quality of product. Aphids also work as important insect vectors for chilli mosaic. Mosaic disease transmitted by aphids cause 20-30 percent loss in yield.

To control, take spray of Acephate 75SP@5gm/Ltr or Methyl demeton 25EC@2ml/Ltr of water. Soil application of granular insecticides viz Carbofuran, Phorate@4-8kg/acre on 15 and 60 days after transplanting were also effective.

White Fly

White fly: The nymphs and adults of White fly suck the cell sap from the leaves and weaken the plants. They secrete honey dew on which black sooty mould develops on leaves. They also transmit leaf curl diseases. To check infestation use yellow sticky traps coated with grease and sticky oils.

In case of severe infestation to control take spray of Acetamiprid 20SP (@4gm/10Ltr of water or Triazophos@2.5ml/litre or Profenophos@2ml/litre of water. Repeat the spray after 15 days.

Powdery Mildew
  • Disease and their control

Powdery Mildew: Patchy, White powdery growth appears on lower side of leaves. It parasitizes the plant using it as a food source. It commonly occurs on older leaves just before or at fruit set. But it can develop at any stage of crop development. In severe infestation it causes defoliation.

Avoid water lodging in field. Keep field clean. To control spray with Hexaconazole(Contaf, Sitara) along with sticker @1 ml/Ltr of water. In case of sudden rain, chances of powdery mildew are more. Mild infestation take spray of water soluble Sulphur @ 20 gm/10 Ltr of water 2-3 times with interval of 10 days.

Phytophthora blight: It is caused by the fungus Phytophthora capsici. It is soil borne and commonly observed on soil with low drainage capacity and areas where proper cultural practices have not been maintained. Also cloudy weather is favourable for spread of this disease.
 

Avoid crop rotation with brinjal, tomato, cucumber, pumpkin for atleast three years. Spray with Copper oxychloride@250gm/150Ltr of water.

Thrips

Thrips: Commonly observed pest. Mostly observed in dry weather. They suck sap from the foliage and results in curling of leaves. Also causes flower drop.
To check severity of thrips incidence, keep blue sticky traps @6-8 per acre. Also to reduce the incidence spray Verticillium lecani@5gm/Ltr water
If incidence of thrips is more, then take spray of Imidacloprid 17.8SL or Fipronil@1ml/Ltr water or Fipronil 80%WP@2.5ml/Ltr of water or Acephate 75% WP@1.0gm/Ltr or do drenching of Thiamethoxam 25% WG@1.0gm/Ltr of water.

Die back and fruit rot

Die back and fruit rot: The branches and leaves get dried and black spots are formed on infected parts. Spots are usually circular, water-soaked and sunken with black margins. The fruits with many spots drop off prematurely resulting in heavy loss of yield. The disease spreads rapidly with blowing wind, rains during rainy season. Partially affected plants bear fruits which are few and of low quality.


Use disease free seeds. Before sowing seed treatment with Thiram or Captan@4gm/kg of seeds is effective in eliminating the seed borne inoculum. To control die back and fruit rot diseases spray with Mancozeb@2.5gm or Copper oxychloride@3gm per Ltr of water. Give first spray just before flowering and second at the time of fruit formation.

Wilt and damping off

Wilt and damping off: Moist and poorly drain soil causes damping off disease. It is soil borne disease. Water soaking and shrivelling of stem occurs. Seedlings killed before emergence. If it appears in nursery the entire lot of seedling may get destroyed.

To control wilt, drench nearby soil with Copper oxychloride@250gm or Carbendazim@200gm/150Ltr of water. To control wilting of plants due to root rot do drenching with Trichoderma bio fungus@2.5kg/500Ltr water, near to roots of plants.

Anthracnose

Anthracnose: It is caused by the fungi Colletotrichum piperatum and C.capsici and is promoted by warm temperatures, high moisture. It is characterised by black spots that are formed on infected parts. Spots are usually circular, water-soaked and sunken with black margins. The fruits with many spots drop off prematurely resulting in heavy loss of yield.

If infestation of Anthracnose is observed then spraying with Propiconazole or Hexaconazole @1ml/Ltr of water should be done.

Yellow Mosaic

Yellow Mosaic: Light and green patches observed on leaves. In early stage plant growth get stops. Yellowing, chlorotic ring spots on leaves and fruits. Select healthy and disease free seeds for cultivation. Avoid monocropping in chilly crop. Raise two rows of maize or sorghum for every five rows of chilly against wind direction. Uproot and destroyed infected plant away from field.

Recommendations given for aphids may be adopted (take spray of Acephate 75SP@1gm/Ltr or Methyl demeton 25EC@2ml/Ltr of water. Soil application of granular insecticides viz Carbofuran, Phorate@4-8kg/acre should be done on 15 and 60 days after transplanting.

Bacterial Leaf Spot

Bacterial Leaf Spot: It is observed mostly in rainy season. On young leaves the spots are yellowish green, on older leaves they are dark and water soaked. Severely affected leaves become chlorotic and defoliation occurs. It observed on stem also. Stem infection leads to formation of cankerous growth and wilting of branches. On fruit round water soaked spots with pale yellow border is observed. 

To control various leaf spot and yellowing diseases, spray Propiconazole 25%EC@ 200ml or Chlorothalonil 75%WP @400-600gm per 150-200Ltr of water. If bacterial leaf spot infestation is observed, to control spray with Streptocycline@1gm +Copper oxychloride@400gm/200Ltr of water.

Harvesting

Chilly can be harvested green or left to ripen on the plant. The ripened colour will depend on the variety grown. To increases no. of pickings, Spray Urea@10gm/Ltr and Soluble K@10gm/Ltr (1% solution each) with 15 days interval during harvesting time. For canning purpose they are harvested when fruits are of red color. Chilly use for drying purpose is harvested at full ripe stage.

Post-Harvest

This include 1) Drying 2) Grading and Packing 3) Storage

References

1.Punjab Agricultural University Ludhiana

2.Department of Agriculture

3.Indian Agricultural Research Instittute, New Delhi

4.Indian Institute of Wheat and Barley Research

5.Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare