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The Ethiopia bird’s eye chili is a cultivar from the species Capsicum annuum, which is commonly found in Ethiopia and south-east Asia. Ethiopia being famously known for its cuisine, the bird’s eye is used to make these spice mixtures in different ways. Basically, without berebere. The food would be considered bland
Produce at a glance
The Ethiopia bird’s eye happens to be one of the most pungent chilies in the world despite its small size. It was first cultivated in Mexico, Central, and South America and with civilization; it spread to other parts of the world. It was introduced in Ethiopia around 1600 by the Portuguese. Spices are among Ethiopia’s top export and bird’s eye is among them. On average, about 246000ha is cultivated producing about 400kg/ha hence making it among the top world producers. Currently, the product is grown in most parts of the country by both small-scale farmers as well as large scale. It has aided locals by being a source of income for those who trade it internationally as well as locally. This fruit has an all rounded ready market and is readily available since they’re cultivated under irrigation. More to it, it has a good market at both local and international levels. Locally, the product costs about $1 per kg on the season but varies with the seasons
Forms of export
The bird’s eye is exported as dry, ground and fresh. It is mixed with other spices to make spices that are globally recognized. Also, it can be manufactured whereby it’s used to make chili sauce
The crop can be produced in many parts of the country provided they get water. In most regions where it is grown, there is an average of 600-1200mm of rainfall yearly as much as irrigation is used. When the land is being prepared, the locals plow as well as use modern equipment. The ground is then added manure as the seeds are growing in the seedbeds. They are then transplanted, in drier areas where irrigation is necessary; they can be mulched to avoid too much evaporation.
Harvesting, handling, and transportation
It is considered mature and ready for harvest around 60-85 days after planting. They are handpicked early in the morning to allow drying throughout the day. If they are to be ground, they are ground the same day that they have been dried. Then after, they are packed in plastic bags under cool conditions to avoid any more loss of moisture.
They are best stored at degrees of about 70c to slow down the ripening process. Under these conditions, they can be stored for up to two weeks without ripening. For export, they’re packed in customized cartons that are well secure in that no damage will occur to the products. Also, the bird’s eye has an advantage of being lightweight hence suffers less during transport.
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Since the bird’s eye is well known in Ethiopia, means that only the best can be sourced from there. Also, making the product easy to find.
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