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Chili peppers, despite their fiery hotness, are one of the very popular spices known for their medicinal and health benefiting properties. The chili, actually, is a fruit pod from the plant belonging to the nightshade family (Solanaceae), within the genus, capsicum.

Chili plant is a small, perennial shrub with woody stem, growing up to a meter in height. It is native to Central American region where it employed as one the chief spice ingredients in Mexican cuisine for centuries. Later, it was introduced to the rest of the world by Spanish and Portuguese explorers during the 16th and 17th centuries. Today chili pepper is grown widely in many parts of the world as an important commercial crop and Ghana is not an exception.

 Current Productions of Chili peppers have always been part of Ghana’s agriculture and diet. Chili peppers require sunny, semi-tropic or tropical conditions and Chili peppers require sunny, semi-tropic or tropical conditions and an annual rainfall of between 600mm and 1,250mm. Chili peppers have a relatively quick growing and harvesting period of 3 to 4 months in Ghana and are generally grown by local farmers during the rainy season.

Most chili peppers are currently produced under rainfed and irrigation conditions  which foster a significant production volume during the year.
Although Ghana has been exporting chili peppers for several years, significant growth in the production of chili peppers for export is a relatively recent phenomenon. The growth in exports was prompted by the development of a hybrid chili pepper, Legon 18 developed specifically for Ghanaian soil by researchers at the University of Ghana-Legon. In addition to being well-suited to Ghanaian soil and climate conditions, Legon 18 is designed to maintain freshness to enhance its exportability.
Since becoming more widely available, Legon 18 has been increasingly produced for export by local farmers.
Bird’s Eye chili pepper production has also been increasing in Ghana. Bird’s Eye pepper is widely produced in India, Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia. Bird’s Eye chili has a very high capsicum content, which is 100,000 to 225,000 Scoville Heat Units, and therefore yields a high market price in export markets and experiences less price volatility. This is partly due to its alternative industrial use in pepper spray. Bird’s Eye chili grows in similar conditions to Legon 18; thus Ghanaian climate and soils are suitable for its production. For these reasons, Bird’s Eye chili pepper is also very much available for exports from us.
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