Kasaragod: Parappa native Aby left his job in a super specialty hospital in Pune just to follow his passion for cultivation. After three years of his return, he has proved that his decision was the right one. Now Aby is one of the leading pepper farmers in the district.

Aby decided to begin with pepper farming as the rubber price declined drastically. Also the high price and demand for pepper saplings were the attractions. Thus Aby received training from Kozhikode Central Research Station.

He started with high-yielding pepper varieties like Sreekara, Subhakara, Thevam and Vijay. Unlike the usual stem planting of pepper, Aby prepares the pepper saplings through ‘Nagapathi’ method only. The saplings grown in this method are healthier. Each year, thousands of Nagapathi pepper saplings are sold through Aby’s nursery.

Pepper tricks

Aby is in the habit of spending the hours between 5 pm and 8 pm in the rain shelter of Nagapathi saplings. He also experimented the expensive bush pepper saplings, when they were attacked by quick wilt disease. He tried grafting the pepper saplings with long pepper (Thippali in Malayalam). It was a huge success and he became one of most successful pepper farmers.

Aby’s orchard is full of 1 ½-year-old pepper plants. Pepper is planted in the northern direction of the support tree and is provided with organic fertiliser enriched with Trichoderma in the very beginning. Another trick of Aby is to cut the edge of the pepper plant once it is 4 months old. Then two branches grow from the edge and the plant flourishes. Its outcome after 1 ½ years will be fully fruitful pepper plants in the orchard.