Capsicum normally locally known in Kenya as pilipilihoho is very lucrative and has many benefits. Capsicum(Pilipilihoho) farming in Kenya can be done in greenhouses or idle pieces of land.
Capsicum contains a lot of nutrients which help the body in fighting diseases also capsicum is grown as cash crops for its economic value.
Economic potential of capsicum
Capsicum farming is a very lucrative venture one needs to consider when he or she has an ideal piece of land.
- 1 acre of land produces 10,000 capsicum and can continue growing for full season for up to four to six months.
1capsicum fruit is 10kshs equalling 100,000kshs. Minus the production cost of approximately 40,000kshs you get 60,000kshs in profits.
This goes to 60,000 shillings profits on the first picking and as you continue picking,more yields are produced. Hence more profits up to approximately 400,000 Kenyan shillings on maximum potential.
Capsicum seeds are first propagated from seeds on raised nursery beds. Parallel lines are made on the nursery bed and seeds propagated on them and buried in thin soil.
Seeds germinate after 2 weeks and ready for transplanting to the field at 6 weeks. Before transplanting ensure the land to be transplanted to has been ploughed and harrowed leaving no weeds.
Add farmyard manure to the soil and dig shallow holes on even lines and rows, transplant the seedlings from the nursery to the main field considering spacing.
Pilipilihoho does not grow wide and tall hence minimum spacing is allowed.
Irrigating and weeding off is ensured as the capsicum matures. Pests and diseases can be regulated by seeking advice from your nearest Agrodealers in your town.
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When pilipilihoho fruits grow and turns orange red or green they are ready for harvesting.
A single season is four to six months for harvesting. Capsicum are harvested by picking and stored in cool dry place it is important to transport to the market soonest after picking.
Important farm practices tips
Weeding: This is getting rid of unwanted plants that grows alongside planted crops and compete with them for nutrients and water, they also harbour pest and diseases which might be harmful to plants and also reducing the yields.
Nutrition: nutrients helps plants in good growth and high yields there are various fertilizers types that can be added to plants, they include the basal,foliar through the macro and micro nutrient elements
Basal fertilizers; these are available in Argostores countrywide they include DAP,CAN,NPK and UREA.
Manure; these are nutrition added to soil to increase nutrients they include animal droppings and decomposed Waste from grass and plant waste.
Sheep goats and cows waste can be dried to make manure then added to soil to add nutrition decomposed waste can also be added to the soil to provide maximum nutrition to plants.
manure is widely used and available in Kenya with cheap price.
Irrigation: this is a common practice by farmers especially in areas that receive minimum or no rainfall at all. It has proved to be an effective method in crop production especially in semi-arid areas like Perkerra irrigation scheme in Marigat area Kenya. High-yielding crops are produced in this area with irrigation practice.
Types of irrigation method include.
- Drip irrigation
- Canal irrigation
- Overhead irrigation
Mulching: This is a practice of adding materials like grass Waste or husks on nursery beds or on top of root seedlings covered by soil after planting.
Mulching helps to conserve moisture in the soil as it reduces evaporation of water from the soil, mulching helps to suppress weeds also. When mulching is done soil gets exposed to minimal sunlight hence discourages the growth of unwanted plants called weeds.
This practice is effective on nursery beds and newly transplanted crops.
Pruning: some plants develop Overgrown branches, buds and also yellow or withered leaves, it is important to pluck off these leaves and branches to make a clean plantation and also to reduce infection to other leaves which may occur with infected or withered leaves.