There are a number of good reasons why you should plant black pepper, particularly the Paniyur variety from India, which is high-yielding. You can grow it either in your home garden or in your farm.

If in your home garden, you can be self-sufficient with the spice in a few years. It is easy to grow. You can plant it at the foot of a tree and it will cling to the trunk. In 1.5 years, you could start harvesting peppercorns.

If you have a plantation of mahogany trees and there is ample light penetrating between the trees, that’s a perfect place to grow black pepper. The mahogany trunk will be the live support for the vines.

The good thing about black pepper is that, the harvest can be stored for a long time. The dried peppercorns are not heavy to transport so that even if your plantation is far from the city, transporting the harvest is not a big problem.

You can make money not only from the fruits but also from propagations for planting. Rooted cutting can sell for as much as P50 apiece.

This appeared in Agriculture Monthly’s December 2018 issue.