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|paprika, Tabasco, cayenne pepper and red pepper
|Red peppers in 4-9kg cartons, others 12-14kg cartons
|2-6 inches long
|December, January, February, March and April.
|7-12°C and humidity of 90-95%
|Transported by air under cool and dry conditions,7-12°C and humidity of 90-95%
The scientific names for capsicum are capsicum annum l. The plant which is commonly known as bell pepper or sweet pepper was initially grown in South and Central America. In South Africa, the plat is grown in highland and lowland areas of eastern cape, northern cape, western cape, Limpopo and KwaZulu-Natal.
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Capsicum exists in different sizes such as tapered, oblong and round shapes. The product has a smooth surface and occurs in different colours. The common variety is green when mature and red when ripe. Other types are brown, yellow, red, purple and orange when mature. South Africa capsicum occurs in annual and perennial species which are green changing to purple, yellow and red as they ripen.
The plant does well in warm weather, and its temperature requirements for growth are 20-25°C. They also require deep, well-drained fertile soils for a good yield. South Africa capsicum is grown commonly in greenhouses. The plant grows 30cm cm 90cm in height, and its roots grow 30cm deep into the soil.
Capsicum is high in vitamin C and vitamin A with red peppers holding higher content. The vegetable also contains folate, Vitamin B6, vitamin E and edible nutritional fibre. It also contains potassium, sodium and iron.
The fruit is red, yellow or brown when ripe, and it is picked immature for use in salads. The varieties grown in South Africa are C. frutescens family which include paprika, Tabasco, cayenne pepper and red pepper. The taste of the capsicum is dependent on the variety, some are hot (chillies), others are mild-flavoured and other sweet (sweet peppers).
Capsicum is grown for eating purposes and is used in sauces and favouring (red\hot peppers), they are also used in salads, garnishing and stuffing.
The plat is best grown in seedbeds and transplanted upon reaching the height of 10-12 cm. Capsicum is harvested 10-12 weeks after planting. The plant produces up to 12000kg per ha of land. Capsicum harvesting in South Africa takes place during December, January, February, March and April.
Harvesting of the capsicum in South Africa is done by hand with stalks still attached and placed in cloth bags, cartons or boxes. The fruit is harvested when it is fully grown immature and green. The plant is then sorted, graded and packaged into standard containers and baskets for trade.
Red peppers are packed in 4-9kg cartons while other peppers are packed in 12-14kg boxes. The storage requirements are 7-12°C and humidity of 90-95%. Lower temperatures lead to spoiling of the fruit. Like any other fresh vegetables, transportation takes place by air.
The major importing countries of South Africa capsicum is the world, including Spain, the United Kingdom and France.
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