Jeypore, Feb 2: The tribal-dominated Koraput's climate is conducive for cultivation of black pepper. Black pepper is being cultivated in around 3,000 hectares of land in the district, especially in Dasamantapur, Laxmipur, Lamtaput, Nandapur, Koraput and Semiliguda blocks.
Panniyur - 1, Panniyur - 2, Girimunda, Kharimunda pepper species are cultivated in the district but most of the farmers prefer Panniyur - 1 farming.
Coffee growers are cultivating black pepper for shade to their farm. However, farmers are facing distress sale due to lack of processing units and marketing platform.
Traders from outside the state are purchasing pepper at around Rs 600 per kg from farmers and selling at over Rs 1,000 per kg after processing.
They have demanded before the state government to launch a special mission to promote pepper farming in the district.
Bikash Behera of Laxmipur block said he is growing black pepper to shade his coffee plantation.
The climate of the area is very conducive for it. I will grow more black pepper if government promotes the farming, he added.
Similarly, Lamtaput farmer Dinabandhu Gemel said the government should promote black pepper farming like coffee by setting up processing unit and facilitating market.