Climate change improves production of habanero pepper in Yucatán

“Facing the climate change that prevails worldwide, producers of habanero pepper will be the most benefited”, said the specialist of the Technological Agricultural Institute (ITA) Number 2 of Conkal, Yucatán, René Garruña Hernández.

He explained that high temperatures and the prevalence of carbon dioxide will improve the characteristics of the product.

He acknowledged that for most farmers and agricultural producers the current climate condition is not very profitable, and it is expected that future environmental deterioration will worsen.

However, people who work with habanero pepper expect higher production, due to the conditions that will prevail in the State, as was observed with the study that was carried out by specialists of Technological Agricultural Institute (ITA) and the Scientific Research Center of Yucatán (CICY).

“The Capsicum chinense harvest will improve as the conditions of temperature and concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) increase,” Garruña Hernández said.

He explained that the favorable result was obtained in different theoretical models of climate change simulated under controlled conditions in growth chambers located inside the CICY greenhouse.

That is to say, “in the laboratory it was possible to regulate both the temperature and the concentration of CO2 in the air, and the results with this emblematic product of the Yucatan Peninsula were remarkable,” he said.

Garruña Hernández indicated that habanero crops were grown in different environments, with temperatures of 30, 35 and 40 degrees, similar to those registered as a result of climate change. At the same time, different concentrations of CO2 were maintained, CO2 levels are increasing, also as a result of climate modifications.

“It was observed that at higher temperatures the plants bloomed earlier, but at the same time their fruiting was delayed considerably due to the fact that a certain quantity of flowers did not complete their development cycle and a part of the fruits died”, he added.

Likewise, the higher concentrations of CO2 caused flowering and fructification in advance, but also with negative effects on flowers and fruits.

However, as a result of larger of carbon dioxide concentration, the number of fruits per plant and the size of these, as well as the content of capsaicin, the substance that gives habanero its pungency, was above normal.

The Yucatan Times Newsroom with information from https://yucatanahora.mx



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