Chilli (මිරිස්)

Chilli Chilli Chilli

Chilli is one of the most important cash crops grown in Sri Lanka. It has become an essential ingredient in Sri Lankan meals. Percapita consumption of chilli in the form of dry chilli is estimated 2.84 kg per annum and the national annual requirement of dry chilli is around 57,400 mt. The annual production of dry chilli is about 7,500 Mt. Therefore, an amount of 49,928 Mt is imported (Year 2015 figures). Chilli contributes on an average Rs. 5,000 million to GDP and creates employment of 5.3 million work days annually. Chilli is extensively grown for dry chilli production, but part of the crop is harvested as green pods. The average extent under chilli at present is around 13,000 ha, of which 2/3 is cultivated in maha season

Department of Agriculture has recommended 10 open pollinated chilli varieties up to now namely MI-1, MI-2, KA-2, Arunalu, MI- Hot, MI Green, Galkiriyagama Selection, MI waraniya 1, MICH 3, MIPC 1. The potential yield of these varieties is 10-15 t/ha as green chilli, but the national average yields is around 5.13 t/ha. Such low yields are mainly due to high incidences of pest and diseases, moisture stress, use of inferior quality seeds, poor crop management and high input costs. First local chilli hybrid, MICH HY 1 developed by the Department of Agriculture released in year 2015 with the yield potential of 32t/ha as green chilli.

Chilli is cultivated in large scale in the dry zone especially in north central province and the intermediate zone. At present, major chilli growing districts are Anuradhapura, Moneragala, Ampara, Putthalama, Vavuniya, Kurunegala, Hambantota and Mahaweli System H. According to the information received from the chilli farmers in the dry zone, the biotic stress condition mainly leaf curl complex (LCC) is the main reason behind the lower extent of cultivation and the poor yield levels reported in Yala season. Water shortage and late water issues in Yala season have caused severe incidence of pest out breaks and consequent crop losses.

Recommended Open Pollinated Varieties (OPV)

1.MI - 1

Pedigree: Myliddy X Tuticorin Origin: ARS, Maha Illuppallama Year of release: 1962 A tall variety with an erect growth habit which attains a height of 75 - 100 cm, depending on the soil type. It is more suitable for cultivation during the maha season in rainfed uplands, but it is susceptible to leaf curl complex (LCC) and anthracnose, and therefore, gives comparatively low yields of about 1000 - 2000 kg ha-1 of dry chillies. The pods have a moderate pungency and are green becoming red coloured when ripe. The fruit surface is weakly wrinkled; the calyx is enveloping and the fruit ends are acute and strongly tapered.

2. MI - 2

Pedigree: Selection from MI - 1 Origin: ARS, Maha Illuppallama Year of release: 1973

MI - 2 has short plant stature with a compact, dense canopy having the appearance of a pruned tea bush. The thin pericarp of the fruits facilitates drying and the pungency of the fruits is higher than that of MI -1. This variety does well in all chillie growing areas and can be successfully grown in both the yala and maha seasons. Flowering starts 75 - 80 days after sowing and the first harvest can be taken in 110 - 115 days after sowing. From a well-managed crop, 6 - 7 picks can be harvested at 7 - 10 day intervals up to 155 - 170 days after sowing. With supplementary irrigation, the average yield in yala is about 2500 - 3000 kg ha-1 and in maha about 1500 - 2000 kg ha-1 . The variety also has a moderate level of resistance to the leaf curl complex disease. The pods are dark green in colour, and have weakly wrinkled surface, and slightly enveloping calyxes. The pods have tapering ends and acute apices. The ripe pods are red in color.

3. KA - 2

Pedigree: { (MI - 2 X PC - 1) Origin: RARC, Karadhiyan Aru Year of release: 1991

A variety particularly bred for the eastern region where mosaic and leaf curl diseases prevent the cultivation of other varieties as MI -1 and MI - 2. It produces economic yields under low management practices and occasional water stress. The variety, later found to be adapted to other chilli growing regions of the dry zone as well is suited for producing green chilli as much as dry chilli due to its comparatively long (6-8cm) and wide (1.3 cm) pods. Its thicker (1.3mm) fruit wall compared with other varieties, results in a longer drying time. The properly dried chilli have good appearance when new; however, the color changes to blackish red within a short period in storage. For the longer drying time and its susceptibility to the anthracnose disease, KA - 2 is more suited to growing in the Yala season than in the Maha season. At the early stages of growth, the plant characteristics of KA - 2 are difficult to tell from that of MI 2. Both varieties have compact growth habits. However, at maturity KA - 2 produces a loosely compact uneven canopy with a height of about 40 - 45 cm. The leaves of KA - 2 are also darker green in color than of MI - 2.

The average dry chilli yield of KA - 2 under supplementary irrigation is about 2500 - 3000 kg ha-1 in the Yala season and about 1500 - 2000 kg ha-1 in the Maha season. The variety has a high level of tolerance to the leaf curl complex disease in the early stages of the crop.

4. Arunalu (BL - 39)

Pedigree: MI - 2 X Santaka Origin: FCRDI, Maha Illuppallama Year of release: 1996

The chilli, Arunalu has an erect plant type which reduces the mutual shading of leaves and allows more light to penetrate through the canopy. The pods which are erect in position during early stages, decline gradually to an intermediate position at full maturity. The pods mature 7 - 10 days earlier than in MI - 2 and KA - 2, and has a more concentrated fruiting habit which enables about 85% of the pods to be harvested in 3 - 4 picks. Pods become bright red and glossy when ripe and highly pungent. The dry chilli have long shelf life of about 9 months and the red color does not change or fade easily as in KA - 2 or MI - 2 in storage. Arunalu has a moderate level of resistance to the anthracnose and LCC diseases. It is well adapted to all chilli growing areas and can be grown in both the Yala and Maha seasons. Flowering starts at 70 - 75 days after sowing and the first harvest can be obtained in 105 - 110 days. The average dry pod yields in the Yala season under irrigation is about 2500 - 3500 kg ha-1 and in the Maha season under Rainfed conditions is about 1500 - 2000 kg ha-1. Higher yields can be obtained if grown in the Yala season under irrigation with good management.

5. MI-HOT

Pedigree: (BL39 x IR) x KA-2 Origin: FCRDI, Maha Illuppallama Year of release: 2002

This variety does well in all chilli growing areas and can be successfully grown in both the yala and Maha seasons. Flowering starts 80 days after sowing and the first harvest can be taken in 110 - 115 days after sowing. From a well-managed crop, 7 - 9 picks can be harvested at 7 - 10 day intervals up to 155 - 170 days after sowing. With supplementary irrigation, the average yield in Yala is about 2500-3500 kg ha-1 and in Maha about 2000 kg/ ha. The variety also has a moderate level of resistance to the leaf curl complex disease. This variety shows moderate tolerance to anthracnose disease and field tolerance to other fungal diseases such as cercospora and coniophora blight. It performs well under rain fed condition in Maha season and ability to grow under low soil moisture condition. Storability and the quality of dry pods, color and appearance are also better than that of MI-2 and KA-2. This variety can be used for both dry and green chilli production. Pods are dark green in color, and have weakly wrinkled surface, and slightly enveloping calyxes. The pods have tapering ends and acute apices. The ripe pods are red in color.

6. MI Green

Pedigree: (MI 2 x IR) (MI 2 x 142A) Origin: FCRDI, Mahailuppallama Year of release: 2009

This variety perform well in all chilli growing areas and can be successfully grown in both the Yala and Maha seasons. Under well managed condition plant height increased more than 70 cm with 10-12 cm long pods. Pods are having dark green shiny surface with high level of pungency. Under irrigated condition potential yield of this variety is 12-15t/ha as green chilli.

7. Galkiriyagama selection

Pedigree: Selection from locally grown landrace in Anuradhapura district during 1990s Origin: FCRDI/Mahailuppallama Year of release: 2009

This variety was developed through the evaluation and selection of local landraces and recommended for North Central province in Sri Lanka. Galkiriyagama selection has small leaves compere to other released varieties with erect growth habit plant which grow up to 60 cm. Pods are suitable for green chilli as well as dry chilli with the length of 8-10 cm. Under irrigated condition potential yield of this variety is >12 t/ha as green chilli and 3 t/ha as dry chilli. Keeping quality of this variety as dry chilli is very high and can store around 5 months without color changes.

8. MI Waraniya 1

Pedigree: Selection from locally grown landrace in wet Zone Origin: FCRDI/Mahailuppallama Year of release: 2011

This variety is very popular among consumers in Low Country Wet Zone in Sri Lanka. MI Waraniya 1 can be used as green chilli and as vegetable. This variety has attractive yellowish green color 18 – 20 cm long pods with moderate level of pungency. It is highly suitable for home garden and crop can be maintained throughout the year with pruning of mature branches time to time. Potential yield of MI Waraniya 1 is 20 – 25 t/ha as green chilli. This variety can’t be used as dry chilli due to high pericarp thickness. It shows moderate resistant to Chilli Leaf Cur Complex.

9. MICH 3

Pedigree: (MI 1 x Wonder Hot) Origin: FCRDI/Mahailuppallama Year of release: 2011

MICH 3 has semi erect plant type which allows better penetration of sunlight through its loosely dense canopy. Under well managed condition plant grow up to 60 cm. It has a potential yield of more than 15 t/ha of green chilli. The attractive dark green moderate size of pods, 8-10 cm in length with glossy surface and high pungency are ideal characteristics of this variety for green chilli. This variety has moderate level of resistant to Chlli Leaf Curl Complex at field level.

10. MIPC 1

Pedigree: Selection from locally grown landrace in Eastern Province in Sri Lanka Origin: FCRDI/Mahailuppallama Year of release: 2014

This variety was developed through the evaluation and selection of a local landrace and recommended for Eastern province in Sri Lanka. Conical shape pods with medium size (4-5 cm in length and 2 cm in width) and high pungency are the most preferred characteristics of this variety. This is a dual-purpose variety (green chilli and dry chilli) which can be cultivated in both Yala and Maha season. Under irrigated condition potential yield of this variety is >15 t/ha as green chilli and 3.5 t/ha as dry chilli. Keeping quality of this variety as dry chilli is very high.

Recommended Hybrid Varieties

Exploitation of heterosis by developing hybrids is the best way of achieving higher yield and other quality characters. Most of the chilli growing countries in the world have increased the productivity using hybrid chilli varieties along with high-tech agriculture (green house, drip and sprinkler irrigation). Sri Lankan farmers prefer to cultivate imported chilli hybrids. But, the price of these hybrid seeds is very high and most of the exotic chilli hybrids are highly susceptible to major pest and diseases in chilli showing less adaptability under local condition. Therefore, it is very important to develop local chilli hybrids adapted to local condition for Sri Lankan farmers. Therefore, Field Crops Research and Development Institute has initiated chilli hybrid development program with the purpose of developing high yielding local chilli hybrids with resistant or tolerant to major biotic and abiotic stresses for Chilli farmers.

1. MICH HY 1 (1st Local chilli Hybrid)

Pedigree: (Galkiriyagama inbred line x MI Waraniya 1 inbred line) Origin: FCRDI/Mahailuppallama Year of release: 2015

This is the 1st local chilli hybrid, MICH HY 1 developed by the Department of Agriculture. This hybrid variety is highly suitable for green chilli with the potential yield of 32 t/ha of green chilli. MICH HY 1 perform well in all the major chilli growing areas within the country during both Yala and Maha seasons. It has longer crop duration (> 180 days) compare to other open pollinated chilli varieties released. MICH HY 1 exhibit highly branched tall plant (around 75 cm) architecture with high pungent long (around 14cm) light green color pods. Also, it is very good for potted chilli cultivation giving higher yield. This variety is Moderate Resistant to Chilli Leaf Curl Complex, the major problem in chilli cultivation within the country.

Chilli Chilli Chilli