Chili is an important spice famous for its pungent fruits which are used in green, ripe and dried form. It is also used in pickles, vegetables and chutnies. Its plant was brought by Portugese from Brazil during 17th century.
Conditions of Growth
Chilli requires 10°C-30°C of temperature, 60 cm-125 cm of rainfall and soils ranging from heavy clayey loams to sandy and light alluvial loams, red loams, or well-drained regur soils. Heavy rainfall and frost are harmful to the crop. Seeds are first sown in nurseries and after 5- 6 weeks these are transplanted to the fields.
Alter one month it starts flowering. Two crops of chillies are raised: (a) winter crop, and (b) summer crop. Former is sown from July to September and harvested from November to February. The summer crop is planted in February-March and harvested in June-July. Both green and red ripe chilies are plucked up for marketing. Sundried ripe chili fruits can be preserved for many months.
Although there has been marked fluctuations in the productivity of the crop but it’s per hectare yield has increased from 593 kg in 1950-51 to 1068 kg in 2000-01 (increase being 80.10%). Andhra Pradesh is characterised by the highest per hectare yield (1946 kg) followed by Nagaland (1460 kg) Rajasthan (1065 kg.) and Bihar (1000 kg.). On the other hand Madhya Pradesh (302 kg/ha) and Tamil Nadu (522 kg/ha) record the lowest per hectare yield.