Business Opportunities in Agriculture: 150 Field Interviews (Book)

Indian long pepper, Pippali, Piper longum [Planting Material Available]


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• The spikes of this plant contain piperine and piplartine alkaloids.
• The roots and fruits are used in palsy, gout and lumbago.
• The fruit and root both have a bitter and hot sharp taste.
• In Ayurveda the root is used as a carminative, tonic to the liver, stomachic,
emmenagogue, aborti-facient, aphrodisiac.
• fruit is said to possess haematinic, diuretic, digestive, general tonic properties,
besides being useful in inflammation of the liver, pains in the joints, lumbago,
snakebite, scorpion sting and night blindness.


• It flourishes well in rich, well-drained loamy soil.
• Also cultivated on a large scale in limestone soil below the Chirapunji region.
• Laterite soils rich in organic matter content with good moisture holding capacity
are also suitable.

• The plant requires a hot moist climate and an elevation between 100 and 1000 m
for its cultivation.
• It can be grown successfully even in areas which receive heavy rainfall with high
relative humidity.
• In its natural habitat, the plant is found growing as an under shrub. Hence it is
especially suited as a under crop in coconut and areca nut gardens with 20-25 per
cent shade intensity.



• Long pepper can be propagated through seeds, suckers or cuttings or by layering
of mature branches at the beginning of rainy season.
• However, it can be easily propagated through the terminal stem cuttings
obtained from one year old growth and 3-5 internodes.
• Vine cuttings can be rooted in polythene bags filled with the common pot
mixture. The nursery can be raised during March and April.
• The cuttings planted in March-April will be ready for planting in the main field by
the end of May.


• Before planting, the land should be ploughed 2 to 3 times and levelled properly.
• Then the field is divided into convenient size of plots in which the pits are dug at
a spacing of 60 cm x 60 cm.
• These pits are filled with soil mixed with well decomposed FYM or compost. In
heavy rainfall areas, channels are made to drain excess water.

• Afterwards, with the onset of monsoon the rooted cuttings are planted in the pits
at the rate of 2 per pit. The pits are gap filled one month after planting.
• Long pepper is planted as an inter crop in Subabul, Eucalyptus and under coconut
in different parts of the country.

• The crop should be irrigated once in a week if it is grown as a pure crop.
• In case the crop is grown as an inter crop with other crops, the irrigation provided
to the main crop is sufficient.
• Sprinkler system of irrigation may be adopted for economizing the irrigation

• During the first year of planting, weeding is done when weed growth is noticed in
the beds.
• After the application of FYM to the beds, earthing up is done from the channels.
• During summer, to prevent the moisture less or losses from the soil surface, the
beds may be mulched with dry leaves or straw.

• The first harvest from vines is available after six months of planting.
• The spikes are ready for harvest 2 months after their formation on the plants.
Spikes are picked when they are blackish green and most pungent.
• The harvested spikes are dried in the sun for 4 to 5 days until they are perfectly
• The green to dry spike ratio is around 10:1.5.
• The dried spikes are then stored in the moisture proof containers.

During the first year, the dry spike yield is around 400 kg per hectare.
The yield increases there after up to 3 years and it will be about 1000 kg
per hectare during the third year. After three years, the productivity of
the vines decreases and should be replanted.
Besides the spike, the thick parts of stems and roots which have medicinal
value may also be harvested from 18 months after planting. While
harvesting the stems are cut close to ground, the roots are dug up, cleaned
and heaped in shade for a day, after which they are cut in to 2.5 to 5 cm
long pieces.
The average yield of dried roots is 500 kg per hectare.

Business Opportunities in Agriculture: 150 Field Interviews (Book)