This article focuses on capsicum (Pilipili hoho) farming in Kenya. Capsicum belongs to the Solanaceae family. It is a tender and warm-season crop that can be a vegetable or used as a spice to add flavour to food.
Capsicum is grown in several parts of the country. However, it thrives well in relatively hot areas such as the coastal and eastern regions. It takes about three months to mature.
Nutritional Benefits of Capsicum
- Capsicum is a good source of dietary fiber.
- Rich in vitamin B 6 and folate which play a major role in lowering homocysteine levels. It is also rich in other vitamins such as A and C, which play vital roles in the body.
- Capsicum is rich in antioxidants.
- Plays a major role in regulating blood pressure due to its rich potassium content.
- Contains anti-inflammatory properties.
Varieties of Capsicum Grown in Kenya
There are various varieties of capsicum grown in Kenya. This includes;
- Green Bell F1
- Commandat F1
- California Wonder
- Ilanga F1
- Admiral F1
- Buffalo F1
- Pasarella F1
- Yolo Wonder
Ecological Conditions for Growing Capsicum
- Depending on the variety of capsicum, it can be grown indoors in greenhouses or outdoors. Some varieties thrive well in greenhouses compared to outdoors.
- Altitudes of of up to 2,000 metres above sea level.
- Well drained and aerated soils with pH of between 5.5 to 6.5.
- Rainfall of approximately 800-1200 mm per year.
- Temperature of about 16-21°c for fruit setting, night temperature of 15-17°c and day temperature of 24-30°c for fruit development.
Process of Planting Capsicum
Capsicum propagation is by seeds which need to be first raised in a nursery for quite a while. The nursery bed needs to about 1 metre wide.
Later on, the seeds are transplanted to the venue or place for planting. Seeds can be speed at a depth of about 2cm, with light covering of soil.
Seeds germinate after about 2-3 weeks. It all depends on the variety of capsicum grown. Climatic conditions may also be a determining factor for the germination period.
To yield maximum returns, you need to control pests and diseases on your farm, weed your farm regularly and use fertilisers if possible.
- Nutritional Benefits Of Pilipili Hoho