‘Nsukka Yellow’ pepper is an aromatic pepper (Capsicum annuum) grown in specific rural locales in southeastern Nigeria. Ripe fruits are predominantly yellow and are exported to Nigerian cities where they command premium price. The need to develop appropriate technologies for adaptation and cultivation of ‘Nsukka Yellow’ pepper in cities where there are scarcity of agricultural lands motivated evaluation of the pepper as a potherb using three poultry manure (PM) rates (0, 5 and 10 t/ha). Three-week old seedlings were transplanted into 11 L containers and laid out in a completely randomized design replicated 10 times. Growth, yield and nutritional quality of fruits (at different ripening stages) were determined in response to applied manure. Plant height, number of leaves and number of branches increased with increasing level of PM, which translated to increased number of fruits and fruit weight per plant. Plants that received 10 t/ha of PM produced the highest fruit yield. Mature green, half ripe and fully ripe fruits were analyzed for ash, carbohydrate, fat, crude fiber, moisture, protein, alkaloid, flavonoid, tannin and volatile oil contents using standard methods. Both yellow fruits and red fruits (off-type from mutated branches) were harvested and analyzed for nutritional quality. Fruits harvested from 10 t/ha PM had the highest percent fat, crude fiber, moisture content, alkaloid, flavonoid, tannin and volatile oil. However, 5 t/ha produced fruits with the highest ash and protein contents; fruits from plants without manure had the highest percent carbohydrate. Fully ripe fruits had the highest percent carbohydrate, crude fiber, alkaloid, flavonoid, tannin and volatile oil, but green fruits had higher values for moisture and protein. Red fruits had the highest values for fat, carbohydrate, protein, alkaloid, flavonoid and volatile oil while the yellow type had the highest percent values for ash, crude fiber and tannin. Data on growth, yield and nutritional quality had significant positive response to the PM rates, suggesting that 10 t/ha is recommendable for growing the pepper as a potherb.
Key words: Aromatic pepper, containerization, manure rates, nutritional quality.
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