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|Common Name||Capsicum, Capsicum pepper, Bird peppers, Chilli, Sweet pepper and Bell pepper|
|Varieties||Chili, Sweet peppers, Bird peppers, and Aromatic hot pepper|
|Season||All year rounded|
|Packing Specification||Boxes and shipping containers|
|Size||30 centimeters long|
|Transport Conditions||Containers with ventilation setting of 10 cubic meters per hou|
Guinea Capsicum is a fruit that is commonly eaten as a vegetable. It gets consumed in fresh, processed, or dried form. Capsicum is widely referred to as pepper. Sweet peppers are eaten raw in salads or cooked, processed, or fried with other foods, chilies. Bird peppers and aromatic hot peppers are consumed in minimal quantities and are considered a spice for seasoning or an appetite stimulant. Hot pepper gets processed into ketchup or spice mixtures for different flavoring kinds of foods.
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Capsicum originated in Central and South America. The cultivated form got domesticated in prehistoric times. Mexico was the center of origin of the sweet pepper and chili, while aromatic hot pepper originated from the Amazonian region and bird pepper in the coastal tropical areas of South America. The Spanish and Portuguese brought capsicum pepper (hot and sweet) to Europe, and from here, the hot pepper got widely dispersed to all subtropical and tropical areas of the world. By the 17th century, it was widely grown as a vegetable and spice. The aromatic hot pepper was introduced to West Africa later than the chili and bird pepper. Africans consider hot pepper (which is widely cultivated in Africa) a traditional African vegetable and spice.
The capsicum shrub stands at 2.5 m tall. Its fruit is variable in size, taste, color, and shape and can be up to 30 centimeters long. They are green, purplish, or yellow when immature but turn red, brown, yellow, or orange when mature. The fruit has many seeds which are pale yellow in color with a diameter of between 3 to 5.5 millimeters.
Global pepper production in as early as 2001 was at 21.3 million from a 1.6 million ha harvested area. Capsicum production in Guinea is mainly for its local market. However, exports are made to Europe, especially during winter months.
Aromatic hot pepper is moderately hot and 6 inches long when mature. Bird pepper is small in size and used to add color to food or as a seasoning. Chilli pepper is used as a spice to add heat to a dish. Sweet peppers are sweet, as their name suggests, and can get eaten fresh.
Guinea capsicum seeds germinate 6 to 21 days after sowing while flowering starts 60 to 90 days after sowing. The flowers open 3 hours after sunrise and stay open for 1 to 3 days. Typically 40% to 50% of the flowers set fruit. The fruits begin to mature 4 to 5 weeks after flowering and can be harvested every 5 to 7 days. The peak harvest is 4 to 7 months after sowing. Optimal temperatures for growth are between 18°C and 30°C. The growth of capsicum in Guinea occurs at a wide range of altitudes, from lowland up to 2000m, with an annual rainfall of at least 600 millimeters if not irrigated. The fruit can grow in all soil types but is most suited to well-drained loamy or sandy soils with high water retention capacity, rich in lime, and a PH of 5.5 to 6.8.
Early morning hours are suited best for the Guinea capsicum harvest. They get harvested at between 2 to 3 months after transplanting or 3 to 6 weeks after flowering depending on the maturity desired. Harvesting is done by hand except for sweet peppers, which get harvested using a small knife. Chilies or sweet pepper that are to be traded as dried fruits or powder are left to dry on the plant before harvesting. After harvest, the capsicum is handled for fresh consumption or processed into frozen, canned, fermented, or pickled products. The fresh fruits get sold in the markets. They can be stored for up to 5 weeks at 4°C and 95% humidity. Boxes sealed at the top with a plastic paper are used to pack capsicums. They get shipped in containers with a ventilation setting of 10 cubic meters per hour and a loading temperature of not more than 2°C.
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