Report of National workshop on Protocol Development for Sustainable Governance of NTFP Resources
Cultivation and Harvesting

Piper Longum (long Pepper; pipli)

Family: Piperaceae
A slender aromatic, perennial climber, native of the indo-Malayan region, is found growing wild in the tropical rainforest of India, Nepal, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Timor and Philippines. India long pepper is mostly derived from wild plants but is also grown in small area in the Khasi hills, the lower hills of West Bengal, Eastern Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharastra, Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
Chemical Constituents:
Long pepper of commerce is obtained from the unripe spikes of the plant which contain the alkaloids piperence (4-5%) and piplatin and two new al one of which is designated as alkaloids-piperolactum B and piporadione are extracted. The roots contain the alkaloids piperlonguminine (0.2-0.25%) and piperlonguimine (0.02%) besides piperine.
The plant has versatile medical value. The root is pungent and has heating, stomachic, laxative, antidiarrhoeic, is useful in vata and kapha; asthma, bronchitis, abdominal complaints, fever, leucoderma, urinary discharges, tumors, piles, diseases of spleen, pains, inflammations, leprosy, insomnia, jaundice, hiccups, tubercular glands and reduce biliousness. The roots and fruits are used in palsy, gout and lumbago. The root has a bitter, hot and sharp taste. It is used as calmatives, a tonic hematenic, and diuretic, digestive and as a general tonic, useful in reducing liver inflammation, joints pain, lumbago, snakebite, scorpion sting and night blindness.
The plant requires a hot, moist climate and an elevation between 100-1000 msl. It flourishes well in rich well-drained, loamy as well as in lateritic and calcareous soils. It should be grown under partial shade. Long pepper is propagated through seeds, suckers or cutting or by layering of mature branches at beginning of the monsoon. The establishment percentage of 3-5 nodded root cutting is also reported to be very high. The suckers establish very well in heavy rainfall areas. Vine cutting can be rooted in polythene bags filled with common pot mixture. The nursery can be raised during March-April which gets ready for planting in the main field by the end of May. It is planted as an intercrop with subabul, eucalyptus and coconut in different parts of the country. The rooted cutting or suckers are planted in the pits at the rate of 2 per with the onset of monsoon. The crop needs heavy Manuring. It should be irrigated once a week. If it is grown as pure crop, in case it is grown as intercrop, the irrigation provided to the main crop is different.
The spikes are picked from the vines six months after planting. The spikes should be picked when they are blackish green and most pungent, delaying may result in the loss of pungency. The harvested spikes are dried in the sun 4-5 days until they are perfectly dry. Beside the spikes the thick parts of the stem and roots (Piplamool), which have medicals value may also be harvested from 18 months after planting. While harvesting the stem are cut close to the ground, the roots dug up, cleaned and heaped in shade for a day after which they are cut into 2.5-5 cm long pieces.
The green to dry spike yield is around 4 Quintals/ha. the yield increases thereafter upto three years and knchs around 1 MT/ha during the third year. After three years the productivity decreases and they should be replanted. The average yield of roots is 5 Quintals/ha.
Source: Excerpts from a article “Method of sustainable harvesting and value addition for economic uplift and biodiversity conservation” by Ms. Alka Shiva, MFP News, COMFORTS, July- September 2004