Pepper farmers in Goa have a reason to smile, as there is an increase in the production of the crop. With the climatic conditions in Goa being suitable for cultivation of pepper, farmers have been going in for cultivation of the crop on a commercial basis.
As a result, land under pepper cultivation has also increased from 721 hectares in the year 2012-13 to 764 hectares in 2014-15. The production of pepper has gone up from 231 tonnes in 2012-13 to 244 tonnes in 2014-15.
Pepper is a flowering vine, cultivated for its fruit, which is usually dried and used as a spice and seasoning. Pepper has a good market and farmers mostly cultivate it as an intercrop. This crop, which has a good demand, brings in additional revenue for the farmers.
Farmers owning ‘kulagars’ with big trees can utilize the space between these trees by planting various spice plantations including pepper, which could be cultivated as intercrop. These plantations grow under the shade of the big trees with little sunlight passing through the canopy.
The intercrop plantations also do not need a separate arrangement for watering as they utilize the same water irrigated to the big trees.