chilli farming Kenya

The Comprehensive Commercial Chilli Farming Guide

Commercial chilli farming is a lucrative venture and, over the long term, has been attracting seasoned farmers and businesses. Farmers are looking to make money by growing chillies to sell in bulk. On the other hand, numerous business owners are looking for organically and responsibly grown chillies. Lucky for you, we’ve prepared this guide for both farmers and business owners.

In our guide for commercial chilli farming, farmers will benefit through tricks to help them produce more yields. On the other hand, if you are a business owner looking to export chillies in bulk, this guide will give you details on how we farm our chillies. This guide offers you our farming and how to order from us in bulk.

FrutPlanet is a leading grower and exporter of chilli. We have vast farms where you can source chillies in bulk. Contact us to order chillies in bulk to request a quote now.

Top 5 Commercially Popular Chilli to Farm

There are over 4000 different chilli varieties, but only a few varieties are grown commercially. Before we hop into the guide, here are the most commercially grown chilli.

No.1: Red Cayenne Pepper

chillie pepper

The red cayenne pepper is one of the most commercialised chilli varieties in the world. The variety has mild SHU ranging from 30000 to 50000, ideal for consumption. A fully mature red cayenne reaper has thick skin, and its skin changes from dark green to red. 

Most farmers love the red cayenne reaper chilli because it’s quick to mature. It takes 90 to 100 days from germination to maturity. It’s mainly grown in Kenya, India, Mexico, and other leading producers, with target markets being the Middle East.

No.2: Piri Piri

Its name is coined from Kiswahili’s translation of ‘pepper pepper.” Piri Piri or peri peri pepper is a small chilli that boasts about 50000 to 100000 SHU of hotness. The Swahili history dates back to the Portuguese activities along the east and southern Africa coast. The Portuguese are believed to have brought it during migration.

Piri Piri pepper is mainly grown in Uganda, Zambia, Kenya, and South Africa, among other African countries. The pepper has a maturity period of about 110 to 120 days.

No.3: African Bird Eye

African Birds Eye

The African Bird’s Eye chilli is a popular variety amongst commercial farmers. The chilli variety requires minimal farm inputs, increasing cost to production ratio. In addition, the pepper has long production years that range between 2 to 3 years before the plant’s eventual death.

The African’s Birds Eye has a hotness that clocks within 165000 – 190000 SHU units.  Its production ranges between 600 and 1000 grammes per plant annually. The market for Piri Piri is mainly in the Netherlands and China.

No.4: Jalapeno

Jalapeno is a common chilli variety and one of the most popular. The chilli’s popularity is due to its mild hotness, which ranges between 2500 and 8000 SHU. In addition, experts advise that the chillies contain high amounts of vitamins C and A, adding to their value in the body.

No.5: Habanero

Habanero chilli is a hot variety that turns from green to red, orange, brown, or yellow when ripe. It has about 100000 to 350000 SHU, making it a popular ingredient in hot sauces. Most growers love it because it can produce fruits for many years when mature.

If you want to order chillies in bulk, contact FrutPlanet now to request a quote. We have access to numerous chilli varieties, including those mentioned earlier and more. Our chillies are organically grown, and below is how we farm them.

Chilli Farming: Ecological Requirements for Chilli Farming

Despite chilli farming becoming one of the hottest crops for farmers right now, the crop has some strict ecological requirements. Some of these requirements include:

Altitude and Temperature

Chilli farming thrives in areas that are 1200m above sea level. However, the ideal altitude for chilli growing is 1500m. These are tropical or subtropical regions that are often humid but warm enough. But which temperature is warm enough?

The optimal temperature for chilli growth and maturity should be 20 – 30 degrees. The night temperatures should not exceed 16 degrees Celsius; otherwise, the plant will bear small fruits. In earlier stages of the fruit’s development, low humidity or too high temperatures burn out buds and flowers. As a result, lowers your yields.

Rainfall and Soil

Chilli yields optimally in areas with medium rainfall ranging between 500 – 1200mm per year. Its leaves are designed for low transpiration. On the other hand, the soil should be loamy and slightly basic, with a pH of about 6 – 8. 

When the rainfall is high, the excess rain sheds off leaves and flowers and causes rotting on the plant’s stem. Irrigating chilli is highly discouraged unless the soil is very porous. Otherwise, watering it will cause flower abortion and stunt growth.

Land Preparation and Transplanting

First, plant the seeds in a seedbed for about 7 -10 days. While waiting for the seeds to grow, prepare the land. Like any other plant, you must keep the land clear and ready for the transplant. 

Create seedling holes for the chillies with a spacing of 5cm by 45 cm by 60 cm between rows. Add fine manure to the holes and combine it naturally with the soil. If you’re growing chillies commercially,  avoid intercropping, which may lower yield. However, if you MUST intercrop, apply 1 -2m spacing between the chilli and the intercropping plant.

Chilli seedlings are ready for transplant at about 8 to 10 cm high. At this height, the chilli seedling has about 4 or more leaves. You must transplant the seedlings on time to avoid breaking the roots. When you move seedlings with broken roots, they are more likely to dry out.

Chilli Farming and Maintenance

The journey doesn’t end when you transplant the seedling. You need to maintain the seedling’s health by applying more fertiliser. However, don’t touch the leaves or stems of the seedlings with fertilisers. Some fertilisers burn up the leaves and stems, eventually destroying the plant. 

In addition to fertilisers, you must mulch the chillies to conserve the soil moisture beneath the plant. Mulching also reduces the chances of weeds growing beneath the plant. However, ensure that the mulching leaves do not touch the stem to avoid spreading bacteria to the plant.

Pest and Disease Control

Chillies are prone to aphids, mites, thrips, and white flies, destroying the flowers, fruits, and more. Also, you need to stay in the loop of some common diseases affecting chillies and how to prevent or eliminate them. Some common diseases that infect chillies include anthracnose, fusarium, rust, wilts, Downey, mildews, and more.

Chillies are also prone to viral infections that include tobacco mosaic virus and cucumber mosaic virus. These two viruses have been, for the longest time, reducing yields. These viruses make the fruits pale and bumpy.

Chilli Harvesting

Chillies are ready for harvesting within 90 to 110 days after you transplant them. You can continue harvesting the fruits within two months before the season ends. We recommend that you harvest only ripe chillies. Most varieties show maturity through colour change, mainly from green to red (although other colours like yellow and orange) exist.

You can constantly harvest chillies once or twice a week to avoid overriding chillies. A mature chilli plant can last 2 to 3 years before dying.

Where and How to Order Chilli in Bulk

The best place to order chilli in bulk is from growers, as they can guarantee great quality. FrutPlanet is a leading grower and supplier of chillies, where you can order chilli in bulk. FrutPlanet doesn’t only export chillies but also vegetables, fruits, herbs, flowers, and seafood.

At FrutPlanet, we help our customers source chillies from our farms, partner with the RIGHT logistics providers, and deliver the order. We supply products to global markets, including Europe, the Middle East, Australia, and more. Our products are certified by GAP, Sedex, and HCDA, guaranteeing quality and responsibility.

As a customer, you can order chilli through the following steps:

Step 1: Go to the Chillies Product page.

Step 2: Request a quote and detail your order.

Step 3: Our customer support team will engage you.

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