The variety is an improved high yielding pepper variety with highly branched spikes resistant to quick wilt disease.
Pepper Thekken is noted for its highly branched spikes, which result in high yield. Eight hundred to thousand berries can found in a single spike of this variety against 60 to 80 berries in locally popular variety. The berries are present on both main and branched spikes. Increased Lateral branches with more nodes and inter nodes, resistance to insects and diseases particularly quick wilt, thin epidermis, negligible air cavity etc are other distinguishing features of Thekken.
The negligible air cavity leads to the enhanced dry weight. About 8600 kg dry pepper can be produced from one hectare. Since the pepper is produced in bunches, harvesting is also easy. Having bearing period of three years, the variety is found to be pest and disease resistant and tolerant to adverse climatic conditions. Thomas has been cultivating this variety for the last twenty five years using only organic manure, cow dung, vermin compost etc.
Ninety per cent of the pepper in the area is affected by the quick wilt disease (locally known as vattam), which is a fungal disease caused by the phytophthora (Palmivara var. piperis). This disease affects the roots of the pepper plant during the monsoon season. Thomas shared that Thekken is not affected by this disease as it is grafted on Pepper Colubrinum, a wilt tolerant pepper variety. He further informed that grafting is done at a height of 50cm to prevent pepper strings from touching the soil directly.
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