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Farmer Successfully Grows Unique Kerala Pepper Variety in Goa

They say that variety is the spice of life. This is especially true for Sattari farmer Dhiraj Bhide, who has successfully grown a unique pepper variety.

Kritika Madhukar
In Goa, it is estimated that 848 acres of land are used for bush pepper cultivation
In Goa, it is estimated that 848 acres of land are used for bush pepper cultivation

Thekken pepper is aromatic and flavorful, and it has produced a successful yield in Goa during its trial run. Thekken pepper is a popular variety grown by farmers in Kerala's Idukki district.

"We decided to source it from Kerala and grow it here after discovering it on social media." "The crop took five years to bear fruit," Bhide explained. So far, he has grown 300 plants of the variant and harvested 10kg of peppercorns.

Thekken peppers are known for their highly branched spikes, which result in a high yield. Unlike regular peppers, which have one berry per spike, this variant has 30 to 40 berries on a single spike. "When compared to other varieties, this pepper has a very good pungency." The climatic conditions in Goa and Kerala differ slightly, but we expect a good crop," Bhide said.

Currently, the bush pepper variety is widely grown in Goa. The primary requirement for this variant is shade, which farmers in this region have worked around by intercropping the vines with coconut trees or erecting vertical gardens.

In Goa, it is estimated that 848 acres of land are used for bush pepper cultivation. According to figures released by the directorate of agriculture, Goa produced 380 tonnes of pepper in 2020-21. Agriculture experts are now optimistic that the Thekken pepper variant will produce positive results. "This crop can be grown commercially here," agriculture officer Sanjeev Mayekar said.

About Thekken Pepper

The berries can be found on both the main and branched spikes of Thekken pepper plant. Other distinguishing characteristics of Thekken include lateral branches with more nodes and internodes, resistance to insects and diseases, particularly quick wilt, a thin epidermis, a negligible air cavity, and so on. 

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