Capsicums originated in South and Middle America. Christopher Columbus brought capsicums from the newly discovered America to Europe when he returned. The vegetable is now being farmed in different areas of Bangladesh.
Capsicums are now being commercially cultivated in Chuadanga. The produce is good, thanks to favourable weather and fertile soil.
Local farmers are also interested in farming capsicums because they require less effort and time than many other plants.
Capsicums produced in Chuadanga are sent to Dhaka and to Chattogram after meeting local demand.
The Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) has been encouraging farmers to cultivate it considering it profitability.
Sources at the DAE said the commercial cultivation of capsicums began on 12 bighas of land in Garabaria village under Chuadanga Sadar upazila a few years ago.
Wholesalers send the vegetable to markets in Dhaka and Chattogram because the demand in Chuadanga is low. So far more than 15 maunds of capsicums have been sold for Tk100-120 per kg.
Khairul Islam, manager of Agriconcern Farm at Garabaria village said, "We have been cultivating capsicums for the last three years. The cultivation started on 10 kathas of land on a trial basis in 2018. But we did not get the expected yield the first year.
"This season we had 100 percent success. The price is also good as there is a demand in the market."
Yasin Ali, manager of Khandker Garden at Chuadanga said, "We used to buy pricey capsicums from markets in Dhaka to prepare Chinese food. But now we can get reasonably-priced capsicums in Chuandanga."
Ali Hasan, deputy director of the DAE said, "Capsicum cultivation is a profitable business. The DAE has been encouraging capsicum farming throughout Chuandanga.
"We went to see the capsicum fields in the district. The produce was good because the plants were healthy," he added.
October to November is the ideal time for capsicum cultivation. Capsicum plants have to be prepared one month after sowing the seeds. When the plants are ready, the bed for the plants has to be prepared using polythene.
About 6,000 plants can be cultivated on 12 bighas of land, and about three tonnes of capsicums can be harvested from one bigha of land.
The plant starts flowering about 35 to 40 days after the saplings are planted.
The vegetables slowly ripen from green to red, and can be harvested from the plants within a few months.