TRADITIONAL PEPPER CONSERVATION PROJECT

Black pepper originated in south India, and is extensively cultivated in tropical regions. Both wild and domesticated pepper plants are widely distributed in the Malabar regions of Wayanad and Kannur districts. Pepper being a domesticated spice plant, the conservation of traditional pepper varieties needs prime concern. It has been found that many strains of pepper have been distributed in the Malabar belt. Unfortunately, many of the traditional pepper varieties are under threat due to the inattention of farmers and climate change. Many improved varieties of pepper had been developed by spices research centers in the concerned area and the yielding performance of these had found to be more promising on long term basis. Among these, the most successful variety is panniyur. The primary survey proved that still many of the resistant varieties of pepper are identified in the village cultivation land.

Wayanad Social Service Society (WSSS) is implementing the project at Boys town in Wayanad District. This project has influenced the organization’s activities on bio-diversity conservation and organic farming. The project focuses on the conservation and promotion of traditional pepper varieties identified in the Malabar belt. Wayanad being a part of Nilgiri biosphere, the diverseness of traditional pepper is extremely high. The present project focus on the conservation of traditional pepper and the promotion of cultivation practices of eminent ones. It also focuses on the conservation of bio-diversity and the promotion of traditional farming.