Kumbuckal Pepper – A Tale of Excellence

Kumbukkal Pepper, the National Award Winning, Patented, Highest Quality Pepper Saplings hailing from Peerumedu, Idukki, a region known for its flora and fauna in Kerala, has now become a buzzing name among the farmers of southern india including states like Kerala, Tamilnadu and Karnataka. Foreigner researchers from diverse countries are making their visit to the Kumbukkal Pepper Plant Nursery at Kalaketty Kottayam, Kerala, India, to learn more about this unique pepper plant and its characteristics.

Kumbuckal Pepper, the very special pepper plant selection, was developed by the National Award Winning, innovative farmer Mr. Varghese Kumbuckal, with his keen observation and continuous efforts. You might be thinking, What is so special about this Kumbukkal Black Pepper Plant, right? The story began a long time ago, from 1884 to 1995 to be precise. Mr. Varghese began growing black pepper in his rubber plantation with some of the locally available samples at that time. As the farming progressed, the fast spreading and dangerous disease, ‘Quick-wilt,’ a farmer’s nightmare, began to affect his pepper plants. Unfortunately, the disease completely destroyed all of the pepper plants except two or three. Mr. Varghese’s wife then provided all the motivation and support that he needed to restart the farming. The second attempt at farming was again failed due to the same villain known as ‘Quick-wilt,’ leaving only two to three saplings as survivors. It was at this time, Mr. Varghese initially started observing the plants who actually survived.

During this time, the SPICES BOARD, India, held an awareness session for Peerumedu farmers, emphasising the benefits and applications of Worm Compost. One of the statements made in the middle of the session was, “We are spending crores on research to develop better crop samples. However, chances are that the best varieties that no researcher can develop can also be found in your plantations. If you believe you have discovered any plants with such characteristics, please notify us.” Mr. Varghese told the SPICES BOARD personnel without hesitation that he has some Black Pepper Plants in his farm that have survived the disease ‘Quick-wilt.’ Members of the SPICES BOARD paid an immediate visit to the Kumbukkal Farm to see and observe the plants and they discovered that these pepper plants are unique. Following the incident, members of the Spices Board and researchers from various countries frequently visited to conduct additional research on the Kumbuckal Variety, and by 2007, Mr. Varghese had received the National Award from the National Innovation Foundation and the CDS – NRPPD Plantation Innovation Award 2014.

Kumbuckal Pepper – Patented, High Yielding, All weather compatible Pepper Plants has now become the only best choice for all the black pepper farmers out there. This variety has a remarkable root system and is resistant to diseases such as quick wilt (foot rot), slow wilt, and hollow berry (pollu), all of which are common but serious problems for Indian pepper farmers. It is well adapted to midland, rocky high-range areas with shallow soils, as well as all pepper cultivation areas. It has been scientifically proven to yield more, contain more oil, and be more pungent than local varieties. In short, any beginner growers can start black pepper farming with Kumbuckal Pepper Plants.

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