Chilli cultivation (8,320 MT produced in 2013) is of major importance to Bhutan, second only to potatoes in terms of production. It is grown in all 20 Dzongkhag from about 250 to 2600 masl both for self consumption and as a cash-crop (principally for the domestic market).
The number and timing of crops depends on climate. At low altitudes crops can be grown through the winter dry season. At mid to high altitudes the first plantings are only possible once the weather warms up, between February and April depending on the altitude.
Susceptibility to various rot pathogens means that it can’t be easily grown under wet, warm to hot, conditions. There are only a few serious pest insects and diseases, but they can cause severe losses if left un-managed. Viruses are also known to affect chilli production in Bhutan, but they remain largely unstudied.
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