Chilli Farming in Uganda
Chilli/ hot pepper is fast growing crop in Uganda that takes about 3 months to mature. It can be harvested throughout the year depending on the availability of water. It is drought resistant and has a high demand on local and export market.
It is grown by small scale farmers in gardens and not green houses.
The yield varies considerably depending on a number of factors. The average expected yield is 4 to 6 tonnes per hectare. This variation in yields is brought about by lack of water during dry seasons which can lead to flower abortion.
Chilli may be sold locally in super markets, whole sale shops, groceries and hotels. It can also be exported. The major player in this sector is Britannia Allied Industries in Uganda.
There are many Varieties of hot pepper each with its own shape, size and colour (red or orange or yellow). The varieties are as follows:
The common pepper variety is Scotch Bonnet the “Caribbean” type which has a rich unique flavour.
Another common variety is the Uganda Red Bird Eye Chilli which is highly demanded in the export market for food and pharmaceutical industries.
Long Kayen has be recently been introduced in the northern region
It is important to note that there no commercially available hot pepper seeds.
Uses of Chillies or Hot Pepper
The red pepper has the following uses:
- It is a cash crop for small scale farmers
- It is a foreign exchange earner
- Chilli is used in the manufacture of curry Ingredients, chilli sauce, and chilli pickles and various medicinal products.
- Scotch Bonnet Hot pepper, the type of hot pepper exported to UK and Holland.
The pepper suffers from the following diseases:
It can be attached by many insects, nematodes and fungal, viral and bacterial pathogens.
Hot pepper is subject to a number of diseases that reduce both yield and market value of the fruit. The diseases include bacterial spot, blight, phytophthora root rot and gray leaf spots.
In addition weeds and several physiological disorders such as nutrient deficiencies can cause yield losses.
Areas that Grow Chilli
The chilli growing areas in Lango include Ngai and Otwal sub-counties in Oyam Abako, Barr and Amac sub-counties in Lira. Others are Puranga in Pader and most parts of Kitgum in Acholi sub-region. The red pepper is mainly being promoted in the north east sub-region through North East Chilli Producers Association (NECPA). The association expect to grow about 250 tonnes of Uganda’s red eye chilli and long kayen variety.
The red pepper farmers receive support in the following ways:
Geoffman Enterprises promotes the cultivation of Ugandan Red bird eye chilli for economic sustainability in the West Nile sub-region of northern Uganda. The company works in collaboration with ARCOD an NGO, as well as CBOs, FBOs, farmers’ groups and women’s groups. They target is to reach 70,000 farming households