Farmer’s Diary : Organic cultivation of Bydagi Chilli – A heritage crop of North Karnataka

Shanmukha M. Dyamakkanavar is a progressive chilli farmer following organic cultivation methods. His knowledge is based on experience inherited from his father and the technical support from various agencies promoting organic cultivation. Here is his experience of growing Byadagi Chillies, popular in his area, using organic cultivation methods.

The land is ploughed by wooden plough immediately after the receipt of pre­monsoon showers and repeated harrowing are carried out to bring the soil to a fine tilth. This will encourage weed seeds to sprout and it can be destroyed by repeated harrowing. He applies around 4 to 6 tons/ha of well decomposed cattle manure produced on his farm. Also he applies 250 Kgs/ha of neem cake to control cut worms and root grubs and allows it to get wet by rain before transplanting.

Like all traditional’ Byadagi’  Chilli growers he also selects seeds from healthy disease-free Chillies from his own farm. While selecting seeds he gives importance to characters like length and bright red colour of fruits. He treats seeds with Trichoderma @ 10 grams/1 Kg seeds before sowing on raised beds in nursery. Just before transplanting he applies VAM inoculam @ 2 Kgs/bed. Based on his experience he says that these practices help in reducing the incidence of disease and improve growth and yield. Another noticeable practice followed by him is clipping and pruning of seedlings before transplanting. By this he feels that the seedlings can withstand adverse weather conditions during transplanting and also induce uniform shape and growth of plants. Transplanting is usually done during the month of July. Spacing of 60 cm X 75 cm is followed. At the time of transplanting, vermi compost mixed with Azospirillum and Phospobacteria @ 10 Kgs/ha is applied which is repeated again after 30 days of planting.

After the plants get established he sprays cow urine, neem oil, Psuedomonus and Panchagavya @ 2 to 5 mil litre of water, alternatively at regular intervals. This enables him to control major pests and diseases like leaf curling and anthracnose. He also maintains a border crop comprising maize, castor and marigold to prevent contamination from neighboring farms and to trap pests. The marigold helps him to also earn additional income during festive seasons.

Along with Mr. Shanmuka, there are many chilli farmes in the region who believe and are following organic practices for years. They are also realising premium price for their organically produced products. The organic farmers in the region are also encouraged by the Spices Board in helping them in group certification and capacity building.

For more details please contact Shri. Shanmukha Dyamakkanavar, PO Sulla, Hubli taluk, Dharwad – 580025

 This note was compiled by Mr. P. K. SURESH, Deputy Director (Dev), Spices Board,

MIG-326, 10th Cross, Navanagar, Hubli-580 025,



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