Marketing Profile: Hot Pepper

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Introduction

Jamaican hot peppers (Capsicum Spp.) and value added products are hotly sought after by lovers of spicy foods both locally and internationally. The condiment is required in the local fresh market as well as in the ex- port and agro processing industry. In 2009, approximately 10,566,000kg of hot peppers were produced island –wide. The West Indian Red pepper represented approximately 80% of total production.

VARIETIES

Two varieties of hot pepper are of economic importance in Jamaica, namely the scotch bonnet and West Indian Red pepper. The Scotch Bonnet pepper is preferred in the fresh and export markets while both the West Indian Red and Scotch Bonnet varieties are required in the agro processing industry for the manufacturing of sauces and jerk seasoning.

WORLD FAMOUS, SCOTCH BONNET PEPPER

The Jamaican Scotch Bonnet pepper enjoys the reputation of being one of the hottest peppers in the world and is responsible for the unique flavour of the world renowned Jamaican jerk cuisine. Typically, the pepper has a scoville heat unit of between 363,000 to 456,000 and this high scoville heat is synonymous with the high concentration of capsaicin, the active ingredient in hot pepper.

HEALTH BENEFITS

  1. Capsaicin causes cancer cells to commit suicide.
  2. Topical forms of capsaicin are recognized treatment for osteoarthritis pain.
  3. Burns fat and lose weight
  4. Protects your heart and;
  5. Prevents sinusitis and relieves congestion.

QUALITY REQUIREMENT

Hot pepper quality is primarily based on the firmness, maturity, colour, shape and freedom from pest, pest damage, bruises, cracks and diseases.

SUPPLY AVAILABILITY

Hot peppers are cultivated island-wide. In 2009, 67.1% of the island’s production came from St.

Elizabeth, Clarendon, Portland, St. Ann and Manchester. Hot peppers are available all year round.

WHY INVEST IN PEPPER?

  • Relatively easy to grow
  • Favourable climatic conditions for production
  • The availability of Loans and;
  • Strong markets for pepper products.

MARKET DEMAND

In 2009, 98.3% or 10,387Mt of hot pepper production was consumed in the local agro processing and fresh markets while the export market consumed only 1.7% or 179Mt. There were approximately 24 exporters of fresh pepper and 12 Agro processors. Exporters indicated that they would like to increase the exportation of scotch bonnet peppers, if the quality is good and supply is consistent. For quality Scotch bonnet pepper seeds, contact the Bodles Research Station in Old Harbour, St. Catherine.

MARKET POTENTIAL

The value added products of Jamaican hot pepper varieties such as pepper mash, hot pepper sauces and dried pepper, ensures that the excellent Jamaican hot pepper flavours are available to local and overseas consumers.

FARMGATE PRICE:

On the week ending June 19, 2010 the farmgate prices for Scotch Bonnet and West Indian Red pepper varieties ranged from J$77 to J$220/kg and J$66 to J$132/kg respectively.

RETAIL PRICE:

On the week ending June 19, 2010 the retail price of scotch bonnet pepper ranged from J$250 to J$400/ kg while the West Indian Red pepper was J$350 per kilogram.

INTERNATIONAL PRICE:

The average terminal market prices for Habanero pepper in the USA (June 22, 2010) ranged from J489.5/kg (US$5.5/kg) to J$685.3 (US$7.7/kg) while a price ofJ$404.06/kg was obtained in the New York Terminal Market for Scotch Bonnet pepper originating from the Dominican Republic .

WORLD DEMAND FOR HOT PEPPER:

In 2008 Canada was the largest importer of US. Fresh peppers, purchasing 135.9 million pounds. In contrast, the United States imported 1.4 billion pounds of fresh peppers in 2008. Most fresh peppers originated in Mexico, which provided 1.2 billion pounds of peppers. In countries such as Japan and the USA, there is a rapidly growing demand for powered and dried Habaneros.

ESTIMATED COST OF PRODUCTION (0.4 HECTARE) FOR PEPPER

WEST INDIAN RED PEPPER

Table 1

Parish

St. Elizabeth

Extension Area

 Lacovia

Crop Maturity:

3 Months + 8 reaping

Land Preparation

 

Mechanical

 

Planting Distance:

30cm x 150cm

(1'x5')

Plant Density @ 0.4 hectares

8,712

Irrigated/Rain fed

Irrigated

Area:

0.4 hectare

Man-Day (MD) Charge:

$1,000

Projected Marketable Yield (de-

seed)(kg):/acre/0.4 hectare

6,045

Cost of Production $/kg:

$41

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: Ministry of Agriculture & Fisheries, Economic Planning Division

 

SCOTCH BONNETT PEPPER

Parish

St. James

Extension Area

 Anchovy

Crop Maturity:

3 Months + 7.5 reaping

Land Preparation

 

Mechanical

 

Planting Distance:

90cm x 120cm

(3'x4')

Plant Density @ 0.4 hectares

3,630

Irrigated/Rain fed

Semi-Irrigated

Area:

0.4 hectare

Man-Day (MD) Charge:

$1,500

Projected Marketable Yield (de-

seed)(kg):/acre/0.4 hectare

7,557

Cost of Production $/kg:

$40

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: Ministry of Agriculture & Fisheries, Economic Planning Division