Research on mixed cropping of pepper in coconut garden is being carried out at Central Plantation Crops Research Institute, Kasaragod. Technologies have been evolved for successful cultivation of the crop.

Method of planting

The rooted cuttings need to be planted one m away from the bole of coconut in North-East direction. Before planting, one 50x50x50 cm dimension pit has be taken in the above mentioned place and should be kept open for 15 days and available organic manure has to be applied and planting of rooted cuttings can be taken up.

During first year, proper care should be given for staking the vines to coconut bole.

Management practices

Application of recommended dose of fertilizers and organic manures: N:P:K: at 50:50:150 g/vine and application of 2 to 3 kg of organic manure (vermicompost or FYM or compost).

Care should be taken not to disturb the root system of the plant and apply the manure on the outer side of the root system and cover with soil. Irrigating during summer months is required and can be given in the form of drip irrigation or sprinkler Irrigation.

Integrated disease management approach needs to be adopted involving application of fungicide and bioagents (Trichoderma viride) blended with neem cake or vermicompost to manage wilt disease.

Successful cultivation of black pepper depends upon, how the vines are taken care with respect to nutrient management and disease management with organic manure blended with bioagents.

Easy harvesting

Vines should be allowed to trail up to 20 to 25 feet height and further growth should be restricted for easy harvesting of berries and to allow the climber to climb the coconut palms for harvest of nuts.

Suitable Varieties: Panniyur 1, 4 and 5, thevam, Sreekara, Panchami and Karimunda.

Studies conducted at CPCRI. Kasaragod have revealed that Panniyur 1 variety has performed better by yielding 2.5 to 4 kg dry pepper per vine per year under coconut based high density multispecies cropping system.

Other varieties like Panniyur 4 and 5, Sreekara, Panchami also gave better yield ranging from 1.5 to 2.5 kg dry pepper per vine per year. 15 years of result has indicated that, by growing the pepper as mixedcrop in coconut, there was no reduction in the yield of coconut rather there was increase in the yield.

Dr. H.P. Maheswarappa

Principal Scientist(Agronomy)CPCRI, Kasaragod