It is an important vegetable crop all over the world (Peet, 2006) which ranks third in the world vegetable cycle after tomato and onions (Akin Fasoye, 2006). It is estimated that more than 7. 5million acres of Capsicum are grown around the world (Peet, 2003) mostly in the tropics and subtropics (Aliyu, 2000) such as Malaysia, East Africa, Central and West Africa, Carribeans and Philippines. The crop is believed to have originated from the southern tropical America’s probably in Mexico where its domestication occurred around 2000BC.
In Nigeria green pepper has been grown for many years by peasant farmers in the northern part of the country (Olarewaju and Showemino, 2003). Nigeria is the fifth in the world pepper production (USDA, 2001) with over 630,000metric tonnes (Muhamman and Auwalu, 2009). Green Pepper thrives best in warm climate, where frost is not a problem during the growing seasons. In general, it requires temperatures ranging from 25-35°C (Olalla and Valero, 1994). Peppers thrive in a wide range of soil types, but good drainage is essential.
The soil should be worked over to break up large clods and any hardpan that prevents good drainage. A soil pH of 5. 5 –7. 0 is desirable. Green peppers are less sweet and slightly bitter than yellow, orange, purple or red peppers. The taste of ripe peppers can also vary with growing conditions and post-harvest storage treatment. Green pepper is widely grown in the northern parts of Nigeria as a result of its uses and application which in turns increases demand and consumption of the vegetable.
However, the vegetable is considered as medicinal plant in some parts of Nigeria. All these values have led to developing technically-based precision farming of green pepper so as to boost the production in order to match its increasing demand. 1. 0. 1 Uses of Green pepper Bell peppers are a delicious vegetable that can be enjoyed either raw or cooked. When served raw, bell peppers have a crisp texture that lends itself to salads and makes a perfect complement to dips. When bell peppers are cooked they take on a smoky, sweetness that enhances many dishes. . 0. 2 Health Benefits Bell peppers are an outstanding source of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients. These phytonutrients include flavonoids (luteolin, quercetin, hesperidin) and hydroxycinnamic acids (especially ferulic and cinnamic acids). But the hallmark phytonutrient group found in bell peppers is the carotenoid family, with more than 30 different carotenoids being provided by this vegetable. Included in bell pepper carotenoids are alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, cryptoxanthin, lutein, and zeaxanthin.
Bell peppers are an excellent source of antioxidants vitamin A and C as well as nerve-supportive vitamin B6. Bell peppers are a very good source of heart-healthy fiber, vitamin E, folate, potassium, and vitamin K as well as the enzyme-supportive molybdenum. They are a good source of bone-building manganese and magnesium, energy-producing vitamins B1, B2, B3 and B5. Bell peppers contain very high amounts of vitamin C and Vitamin A. One cup of raw, red bell peppers supplies roughly 290 percent of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C and 105 percent of the RDA for vitamin A (www. ikepedia. com). Bell peppers also contain significant amounts of vitamin B 6 and dietary fiber. 1. 0. 3 Production of Green Peppers Pepper are crops that lend themselves to small-scale and part-time farming operations. All pepper plants are generally quite hardy and are easily grown and propagated in gardens. The plants also do very well in container gardens and other non-traditional cropping arrangements. This can help with local marketing during periods of the year when fresh exotic produce is less readily available.
In larger production systems, many field operations, such as land preparation, planting and harvesting, can be custom hired, and any equipment owned by the grower can be used for other ornamental plant or vegetable production operations. A typical field of fresh-market peppers is harvested by hand every week or so over the course of about a month. Most of the crop is sold as mature green peppers, but growers receive a premium for a limited amount of other colours. (For example, red bell peppers are actually the mature stage of green bell peppers that have been allowed to ripen on the vine).
The premium reflects the fact that bright-coloured bell peppers (red, yellow, orange, purple, brown and black) are more costly to produce (field losses are higher and yields are lower) than those harvested at the green stage. Shippers apply a food-grade wax to the majority of commercially produced peppers to reduce moisture loss and scuffing during marketing. This can also extend storage life, which under ideal conditions can range up to 3 weeks. Produced and marketed year round, bell peppers are usually sold as fresh produce. 1. 0. 4 Marketing of Green Peppers
Competitive intensity within the pepper production industry is extremely varied. A few large growers may influence a considerable share of domestic distribution to major national or regional grocery chains and processors. However, these same growers may have little impact on farmers’ market and similar local sales outlets. Several basic marketing alternatives are available to green pepper growers. These include sales to coops, local retailers (grocery stores including ethnic-group-specific grocers), wholesale marketers or processing firms.
Other alternatives include direct sales to consumers at roadside produce stands or pick-your-own operations. Local grocery or retail stores are another possible market, but this involves contacting produce or inventory managers and reliably providing high-quality peppers or pepper-derived product on a regular or pre-arranged basis. With respect to wholesale marketing, producers often contract with shippers to market and ship their peppers for a predetermined price. If a grower does not use a contractor and ships the peppers directly to the wholesaler, the product is subject to the greatest price fluctuation.
Marketing cooperatives generally use a pooled daily cost and price, which spreads price fluctuations over all participating producers. Roadside stands and pick-your-own operations provide opportunities to receive higher than wholesale prices but may demand additional expenses for advertising or maintaining and staffing the facility. Additionally, for the small producer, this may demand a considerable time commitment. Pick-your-own operations save on harvest costs, but there may be additional wastage as well as time and personnel demands. 1. 1 Problem Statement
Production of green pepper in Nigeria is quite cheaper, efficient and less laborious during the periods of the rainy season as the crop thrives best when there is frequent supply of water, especially during its flowering stage. This, however, certainly leads to glut in the green pepper market during the rainy season, leading to lower prices, and a scarcity during the dry season making it necessary for production during the dry season using artificial irrigation so as to make more profit. In swamp areas or along water bodies, dry season green pepper production will be feasible.
However, areas without swamp lands and nearby water bodies will depend on pipe borne water (where it is available) for irrigating the farm. Furthermore, several studies have been carried out so as to determine the influence, significance and relevance of organic manure in green pepper production, but little or no research has been carried out in the area of dry season green pepper production using inorganic fertilizer. This research is therefore carried out so as to study the economics of dry season green pepper production using inorganic fertilizers only. 1. 2 Objectives of the Study
The broad objective of the study is to evaluate the economics of artificially irrigated green pepper production using inorganic fertilizer only. However, the specific objectives of the research are to: a)determine green pepper production system b)determine the cost of irrigation, and other farming operations, such as weeding, fertilizer application, harvesting, and subsequent returns in dry season green pepper production in Nsukka agricultural zone; c)identify major constraint in the use of only inorganic fertilizer in green pepper production; and, d)make recommendations based on findings. . 3 Justification of the Study This study will provide information for policy makers and researchers on the input – output data of artificially irrigated green pepper production using inorganic fertilizers, thereby facilitating decision making. Secondly, Information on dry season production of green pepper will be beneficial to green pepper farmers because increased adoption of dry season green pepper production will result to an increased level of income for the farmers as the crop is mostly produced during the rainy season.
Furthermore, Information on the use of inorganic fertilizer alone in the production of green pepper will aid farmers who would like to enter into the enterprise to make adequate input decisions. This research will also study the yield and profitability of green pepper in the eastern part of Nigeria (Nsukka agricultural zone) as the crop is mostly produced in the northern part of Nigeria such as Jos. CHAPTER TWO LITERATURE REVIEW In this chapter, literature will be reviewed under the following headings: •Green pepper production system •Costs and returns •Constraints to green pepper production . 0 Green Pepper Production System Peppers are usually transplanted but can be direct seeded. Transplanting offers several advantages over field seeding: weed control is much easier; fruit set occurs before high summer temperatures develop; a field stand is much easier to obtain using transplants. Capsicum Seed rate is 0. 5kg/ha in the nursery and 1kg/ha when directly sown. Field establishment site should be well prepared; manure and basic fertilizer should be applied. It is also noteworthy that water use of pepper must be accurately maintained for its growth, development and yield.
This could be achieved by uniform water application. Irrigation is an artificial application of water to the soil. It is applied to assist in the growing of agricultural crops, maintenance of landscapes and re-vegetation of disturbed soils in dry areas and during periods of inadequate rainfall. Irrigation also has a few other uses in crop production, which include protecting plants against frost (Snyder and Melo-Abreu,2005), suppressing weed growing in grain fields (Williams et al, 2007) and helping in preventing soil consolidation. Various types of rrigation techniques differ on how the water obtained from the source is distributed within the field, irrigation design mechanism, cost and technicalities. Sprinkler irrigation systems are increasingly being used in crop production in South-West of Nigeria. Sprinkler irrigation systems apply water directly to the surface of the crop as well as the soil around the roots of the crop. Studies have shown that sprinkler irrigation systems reduce the water use of crop by about 50% compared to that under seepage system (Pitts and Clark, 1991). 2. 0. 1 Nursery operations:
The soil should be prepared to a fine tilth and all trash and clods removed. Well-cured manure should then be incorporated. Before sowing in the nursery, the soil should be irrigated thoroughly using a rose sieve. Scatter the seeds evenly over the media and cover with saw dust or sand. After sowing, the beds should be covered with either a Hessian cloth or grass mulch. A shade net or another material should be used to provide shade. Watering can be done daily during the morning or the evening using a rose sieve. But, it is always advisable to check the moisture content before irrigation twice daily.
Germination is likely from the sixth day onward. Once germination begins, the cloth or mulch should be removed leaving about 50-percent to 70-percent shade. Watering pattern remains same. In the last week before transplanting, remove all shade, reduce watering frequency and apply root guard. 2. 0. 2 Main Site Operations 2. 0. 21 Site selection Bell peppers prefer deep, fertile, well-drained soils. Avoid planting in low-lying fields next to creeks and rivers since these sites are subject to high humidity and moisture conditions and, therefore, especially prone to bacterial spot epidemics.
Producers should also avoid fields where long-residual corn or soybean herbicides have been used, since herbicide carry-over can cause serious injury to peppers. Green pepper fields should be located as far away from tobacco plantings as possible due to potential spread of aphid-vectored viruses from tobacco to peppers. It is also advisable not to grow peppers after other solanaceous crops (such as tobacco, tomatoes, potatoes, and eggplants) or vine crops for a period of three years since all of these crops are susceptible to some of the same diseases. The following considerations should be made: Well draining soils and medium to heavy soils ? such as clay loams or sandy loams are suitable. •PH level ranging from 5. 3-6. 8 is ideal. •If possible, a site near a water source is ideal. •Ideal topography is relatively level. •Sloped land can also be used with proper contouring. The following operations should be carried out before transplanting is done: •Disc plough 8 inches deep or more 2-3 weeks before transplanting. Use a jembe, animal-drawn plough or tractor-drawn plough. •Harrowing should be done to achieve a fine surface 2 to 3 weeks after ploughing. •Make beds 1 meter wide and any length, depending on the length of the field. . 0. 22 Transplanting Transplanting is carried out when the seedlings attain at least 4 true leaves stage. Only healthy and disease-free plants should be transplanted. Pepper transplants can be set by machine or hand. Firm the soil around the roots and apply a starter fer¬tilizer solution for quick plant recovery. Transplanting involves the following processes: •At four weeks old, begin the hardening process (by reducing watering frequency, removing shade, etc. ) •One hour before transplanting, wet the nursery. •Transplant in the evening to reduce shock. The plants should be six weeks old. Depth of about 3-4cm is adequate •Sweet peppers can be spaced at 30 to 60 centimeters apart by 60 to 90 centimeters apart. •There are various starter solutions available that can be used at planting time to enhance start-up. Starter solutions include root guard and kickstart. Transplanting must be delayed until the danger of late spring frost is past to avoid frost injury. Transplanting peppers through black plastic mulch will increase early plant growth and promote earlier production. A premium price must be expected from the early production to offset the added production expense from using plastic mulch. . 0. 23 Crop management At planting, phosphorus and fertilizer should be added. The soil acidity will determine a suitable fertilizer. A top dressing should follow with a nitrogen fertilizer three weeks after planting followed by another top dressing around the flowering stage. Irrigate peppers with moderate amounts of water since they root 3 to 4 feet deep but have many shallow roots. Irrigate to maintain uniform soil moisture to promote uniform growth and fruit setting. Long dry periods may cause plants to shed flowers and small fruits. Plants are likely to make a slow recovery after drought injury.
Over-irrigation promotes Phytophthora and other root-rotting organisms. The field should always be weed free, thus regular weeding is necessary. Shallow mechanical cultivation and hand hoeing are needed to control weeds. Pruning roots with cultivating equipment slows plant development, reduces yield and pro¬motes blossom end rot. Several pre-emergence herbicides are available that will control germinating weeds and grasses in transplanted peppers if used properly (OSU Extension Facts No. 6008). Mulching helps to reduce weed pressure, helps retain moisture and also helps maintain soil fertility. 2. 0. 4 Harvest and post-harvest handling At 2? to 3 months after transplanting, the sweet pepper will be ready for picking and can be done for another 2 to 3 months. The minimum fruit size at picking should be about two and a half inch diameter and two and a half inch length. They should be full grown and feel firm and crisp when squeezed. Fruits are snapped off by hand and carried from the field in buckets or sacks. Pepper plants have brittle branches that break easily during harvest. Use care during harvest to avoid yield reduction due to plant damage. Harvest should be done at regular intervals to maintain production.
Grade and remove pods showing sunscald, disease, or damage. Mar¬ketable peppers should be carefully wiped with a soft cloth to remove soil and dust. Do not wash to minimize fruit rot after harvest. If peppers are to be sold on the fresh market, grow¬ers should pack in the type container desired by their market. Thirty pound cartons are commonly used containers. Mature green peppers hold best at temperatures between 45° and 50°F. It should not be held at temperatures below 45°F. Un¬der the best conditions peppers can be stored for about 2 weeks. Green bell peppers are hand-harvested for fresh arket when they are at the mature green stage. Coloured or specialty bell peppers are allowed to fully ripen on the plant. Coloured peppers generally weigh more than green fruit. Fruit must be handled carefully to prevent skin breakage and punctures that could lead to decay. Cooling peppers as soon after harvest as possible will extend their shelf life. Once the fruit is cooled, peppers can be stored for two to three weeks under the proper conditions. Peppers are usually packed in 11/9 bushel waxed corrugated cartons (33 pounds) or according to the preference of your particular market/buyer. 2. Costs and Returns Initial investments include land preparation and the purchase of seeds or transplants. Additional start-up costs can include the installation of an irrigation system and black plastic mulch. Production will require approximately 25 hours per acre while harvest needs are 125 hours per acre. Grading and packing require another 75 hours per acre. Black plastic removal (postharvest) will require an additional 10 hours per acre. 2? to 3 months after transplanting, the sweet pepper will be ready for picking and can be done for another 2 to 3 months. Costs and returns analysis table: 1 HECTARE
ItemQuantityUnitRate /UnitValue(PHP) I. Gross income Production yield20,000kgPHP 40. 00PHP800,000. 00 TOTALPHP800,000. 00 I. Expenses A. Operating expenses 1. )Labor Land preparation 1stPlowing6MADPHP 500. 00PHP 3,000. 00 1stHarrowing4MADPHP 500. 00PHP 2,000. 00 2ndPlowing4MADPHP 500. 00PHP 2,000. 00 2ndHarrowing4MADPHP 500. 00PHP 2,000. 00 Furrowing2MADPHP 500. 00PHP 1,000. 00 Seedbed preparation and care of seedlings12MDPHP 200. 00PHP 2,400. 00 Transplanting20MDPHP 200. 00PHP 4,000. 00 Fertilizer Application16MDPHP 200. 00PHP 3,200. 00 Weeding16MDPHP 200. 00PHP 3,200. 00 Cultivation4MDPHP 200. 00PHP 800. 00
Spraying20MDPHP 200. 00PHP 4,000. 00 Irrigation20MDPHP 200. 00PHP 4,000. 00 Harvesting and Hauling150MDPHP 200. 00PHP 30,000. 00 TOTAL LABOR COSTSPHP 61,600. 00 2. )Material Inputs Seeds800gramPHP1,050/25gPHP 33,600. 00 Fertilizer Urea4bagPHP 1,100. 00PHP 4,400. 00 14-14-144bagPHP 1,120. 00PHP 4,480. 00 Organic Fertilizer33bagPHP 250. 00PHP 8,250. 00 Foliar Fertilizer4literPHP 350. 00PHP 1,400. 00 0-0-608bagPHP 2,000. 00PHP 16,000. 00 20-0-0-254bagPHP 1,000. 00PHP 4,000. 00 Chemicals Sevin1kgPHP 780. 00PHP 780. 00 Decis R2literPHP 700. 00PHP 1,400. 00 TOTAL MATERIAL INPUT COSTSPHP 74,310. 00 3. )Irrigation expensePHP 2,415. 0 TOTAL OPERATING EXPENSESPHP 138,325. 00 B. Overhead expense Land chargePHP 10,350. 00 Interest on capitalPHP 12,607. 00 TOTAL OVERHEAD EXPENSESPHP 22,957. 00 I. TOTAL EXPENSESPHP 161,282. 00 II. NET INCOMEPHP 638,718. 00 III. RETURN ABOVE VARIABLE COST PHP 651,483. 00 IV. RETURN ON TOTAL EXPENSES (%) 396. 03% V. AVERAGE PRODUCTION COST(P/KG) P8. 06/kg VI. BREAKEVEN YIELD (KG)4,032 kg Abbreviations: MD – man day, number of days that a man would require to complete the operation in one growing season MAD – man animal day, number of days a man and his animal to complete the operation in one growing season.
Source: Prof. Abner C. Quiambao, Bryan R. Cruz Institute of Agriculture Systems and Technology DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMICS AND MANAGEMENT Pampanga Agricultural College, Magalang, Pampanga 2012 2. 2 Constraints to Green Pepper Production Bell pepper (Capsicum annum. Var. grossum) is one of the highly remunerative vegetables cultivated in most parts of the World. It has attained a status of high value crop in recent years and occupies a pride of place among vegetables because of its high ascorbic acid and other vitamins and minerals.
It also finds a place in preparations like pizza, stuffing and burger with the growing popularity of fast foods. The high market price it fetches is attributed to heavy demand from the urban consumers. Despite its economic importance, growers are not in a position to produce good quality capsicum with high productivity due to various biotic (pest and diseases), abiotic (rainfall, temperature, relative humidity and light intensity) and crop factors (flower and fruit drop). Due to erratic behavior of weather, the crops grown in open field are often exposed to fluctuating levels of temperature, humidity, wind flow etc. hich ultimately affect the crop productivity adversely (Ochigbu and Harris, 1989). Besides this, limited availability of land for cultivation hampers the vegetable production. Hence, to obtain a good quality produce and production during off season, there is a need to cultivate capsicum under protected conditions such as green house, poly house and net house etc. Growth, development, productivity and post harvest quality parameters of capsicum crop largely depend on the interaction between the genetic constitution of the plants and environmental conditions under which they are grown.
Basically bell pepper is a cool season tropical crop and lacks adaptability to varied environmental conditions (Yoon et al. , 1989). CHAPTER THREE METHODOLOGY 3. 0 Study area The study area is Nsukka Local Government Area, Enugu State. Nsukka is a town and Local Government Area in South-East Nigeria in Enugu State. It is made up of 16-towns, namely Opi, Eha-ndiagu, Alo-uno, Okute, Anuka, Nsukka, Obimo, Ede-oballa, Edem, Ibagwa-ani, Okpaligbo, Lejja, Obukpa, Eha-alumona, Ibagwa-aka, and Okpuje (Nsukka L. G. A. Information Office, 2004).
Other towns that share common border with Nsukka, such as Enugu Ezike, Orba and Obollo-Afor (formerly centre of the palm oil trade), Ede-Oballa, Uzo Uwani and Mkpologwu, now also claim the name Nsukka, hence they all collectively fall into the political zoning system in Nigeria known as Senatorial Zone. As of 2007 Nsukka Cultural Zone had an estimated population of 1,377,001 (en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Nsukka). Nsukka L. G. A has an area of 1,810 km? and a population of 309,633 at the 2006 census. The area lies between latitude 60 45’ and 70 00’Nand 7019’E of the Greenwich Meridian.
The mean temperature is between 270c and 280c. The two prominent climatic seasons are the rainy season, lasting from April to October, and the dry season lasting from November to March (Ofomata, 1978). The vegetation is a derived savannah type. The trees found here are usually drought resistant. Some patches of relief forest, which lie mainly on the hill tops or valley sides, are evident that this area was once densely forested. However most important parts of this area abound in grasses which form an important aspect of the rural economy for it is used for fencing and house roofing (Ugwunkwo, 1997).
The primary occupation of these people is farming, although trading and civil service jobs also exist. The people of Nsukka practice the mixed cropping system. The main crops that are grown are cassava, Nsukka yellow pepper, vegetables, cocoyam, sweet potato, legumes such as cowpea and pigeon pea. Agricultural production constitutes a major source of income for a greater percentage of the population (Ugwunkwo, 1997). 3. 1 Sampling layout and procedure The green pepper seeds were grown in a nursery and then transplanted to the field.
The nursery was made in a basket. White sand, manure and top soil were mixed in a ratio of 1:2:3 and then poured into the basket as the planting media. Two litres of water were applied daily before the seeds were planted. After three days the media was turned again, so as to dissipate heat and ensure uniform mixture, after which fungicide was then applied on the media surface. The seeds were planted by broadcasting and covered with saw dust. The nursery was watered daily with two litres of water until transplanting was done. Emergence began a week after planting.
The green pepper seedlings were transplanted after 41-days (1-month and 10-days) from first emergence because total emergence and growth rate was slow. Four 2-metres by 1-metre beds were made in the field, each bed containing 8-seedlings, transplanted from the nursery basket, with a spacing of 50cm by 50cm between the crops. 30-litres of water per bed were applied, using a watering can, before transplant and after transplant another 7. 5-litres was applied. The four beds were then watered every day with 15 or 7. 5 litres of water per bed, depending on water availability, till the field work was completed. Three weeks after transplant 0. 568kg of N. P. K 20:20:15 were applied per bed, each plant receiving 0. 0321kg using the ring method of fertilizer application, with a distance of 5cm from the plant body. 15-litres of water per bed were applied and the beds weeded before the fertilizer was applied. Four seedlings that did not survive after transplant were replaced. Weeding was done every two weeks using a hoe till the end of the field work. 20-days after first fertilizer application 0. 0241kg per plant of urea was applied to 8 stands which seemed to be lacking nitrogen, in terms of leaf colour and plant height compared to the other crop stands.
The crops began to flower 48-days (1-month and 17-days) after transplant and 0. 0261kg per plant of N. P. K 20:20:15 were again applied to encourage proper fruiting and flowering. Harvest began three weeks after flowering with 0. 39381kg of green pepper fruits harvested collectively from the four beds on the first day of harvest. The fruits sold for 350 naira at the price of 50 naira per fruit. Harvest was done every week for 6-weeks with a total of 2. 96616kg of green pepper harvested at the end of the sixth week.
The field work lasted for a total of 4-months and 2-weeks from the nursery to last harvest, although the crops were still fruiting at a diminished rate giving very little fruits that ripen too fast coupled with grasshopper infestation causing the field work to be abandoned. 3. 2 Data collection Data collection was primary. Data collected include time taken to complete each activity per day in the field: bed making, transplanting, weeding, watering, fertilizer application, and harvesting; amount of water applied, amount of fertilizer applied, weight of fruits harvested and the selling price. . 3 Data analysis Objective one was analyzed by finding out the activities carried out in the process of green pepper production such as cultural practices, method of water application, best means of fertilizer application, technique of plucking the fruits from the crops. Objective two was analyzed using gross margin analysis and objective three was achieved using descriptive statistics such as mean, mode and percentage. Gross margin is the difference between total revenue and total variable cost. GM= TR-TVC Where TR= Total revenue TVC= Total variable cost; GM= Gross margin
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