Chiltepin cultivation could displace marijuana in Sinaloa

Comuneros de Mocorito and Badiraguato begin chiltepines cultivation trials with seedlings, consulting and purchasing projects.

The cultivation of chiltepín could displace marijuana in Sinaloa, as it is more profitable, safer and without crime. Community members from the mountains of Mocorito and Badiraguato have already started production tests through projects with wild chili plants, advice and marketing.

The biologist Efraín Payán Cázares is one of the professionals who heard about the benefits of productive reconversion in alternative agriculture and put the cultivation of chiltepines and their industrial use as a company. Now he is a developer of chiltepín planting projects in mountain communities, getting more and more farmers to join the cultivation of wild chili peppers.

Chiltepin cultivation could displace marijuana in Sinaloa

In 2020 Efraín Payán began his first experimental cultivation of chiltepines in the community of Bequillitos, on the border of the municipalities of Mocorito and Badiraguato. The results were so encouraging that now he not only grows chiltepines, but is also a sauce manufacturer with the trademark “ Payin ”, and offers crop packages to interested community members.

Based on the experimental projects that worked best for him, the biologist Efraín Payán is growing two varieties of chiltepines in his community: those native to the central region of Sinaloa, and a variety of high-yield open-air cultivation.

Efraín Payán Cázares chiltepín chile grower

The wild chiltepín of the region can be cultivated in the forest with the native vegetation as a tutor, or in the open with a stake or mechanical soil management with soil adjoining the stem.

And the open sky variety is less sensitive to seasonal changes with advantages to making two cuts of chili a year.

What started as a personal project is now becoming a social one. Well, seeing the results with high yields, many community members have asked to include them in their advice packages to also start the cultivation. And to meet the demands of farmers, it is already producing plants.

Your project considers it a value proposition that can strengthen communities. In talks with Tus Buenas Noticias, they spoke of the low price of marijuana as an illicit crop, compared to the price of dried chiltepines, which can be priced at up to 2,000 pesos per kilo in select markets.

According to estimates based on demonstration plots, Efraín Payán considers that the cultivation of chiltepines offers a yield of half a ton per hectare of dried chili peppers.

chili pepper plantation with well irrigation

The planting density that it is promoting for the cultivation of chiltepín is between 9,000 and 10,000 plants per hectare. In spaces of 1.50 meters between furrow and furrow. And space of 35 to 40 centimeters between plant and plant, on the rib of the furrow.

chiltepin chili drying in Sinaloa

In addition to the cultivation in the Bequillitos community, his project is expanding to the Higuerita community, Badiraguato, with half a hectare; Batequitas with a tenth of a hectare on an experimental basis; and with a request for cultivation in Las Juntas Badiraguato, in La Lapara Badiraguato, El Rillito Badiraguato, La Campana Culiacán, and other communities.

chiltepin chile plantation

Efraín Payan comments that for the diversification of crops you only need the courage to go to a safe project. Contrary to illicit crops, where work is done in secret, with no guarantee of harvest or commercialization. And at the risk of going to jail or getting involved in trouble.

chiltepin chile plantation

The biologist defines his agricultural project as socially, environmentally and economically profitable for the communities. He explained that, in his personal experience, when he has harvests he pays the cut of ripe chili peppers at 100 pesos per kilo, with the opportunity for employment to day laborers in the region.

For the production of chiltepin chili on a small scale, it is necessary to have at least one well or waterwheel that guarantees the pumping of water for drip irrigation, during the dry season, the rain takes care of the rest.

chiltepin chile plantation

With the accumulated experience Efraín is already producing chiltepin chili seedlings for sale, project advice and purchase of crops. If the crop continues to spread as fast as it goes, many villagers will not grow marijuana again.

sale of chili peppers

The chiltepín pepper unites rural families, fosters employment, and generates healthy earnings. It is another way of seeing agriculture in the Sierra de Sinaloa.


The Mazatlan Post