Legumes in Bangladesh uri icon


  • Food legume crops occupy about 5% of cropped area of Bangladesh butplay a significant role in rainfed agriculture. About a dozen legume cropsare grown in Bangladesh of which khesari (lathyrus), lentil, chickpea,black gram, mung bean are the major pulses, and groundnut is an oilseedcrop. Their cultivation is mainly concentrated in the Gangetic floodplainarea. The productivity of these crops is much lower compared to thecereals, and compared to the potential productivity of these legumes, dueto various biotic, abiotic, and socioeconomic constraints. Among thebiotic stresses, diseases, pests, seed dormancy, and weeds causesignificant yield losses. The major diseases are botrytis gray mold,fusarium wilt, and collar rot in chickpea; foot rot, stemphylium blight,and rust in lentil; powdery mildew and downy mildew in khesari(lathyrus); yellow mosaic, cercospora leaf spot, and powdery mildew inblack gram and mung bean: and leaf spot, rust, foot rot, and root rot ingroundnut. Among the insect pests, Helicoverpa armigera is a major pestof chickpea and black gram; Diacrisia obliqua is a major pest of blackgram, mung bean, and groundnut; aphids are common in lentil, khesari(lathyrus), and mung bean; Euchrysops cnejus, Monolepta signata, andBemisia tabaci are the major pests of mung bean and black gram. Amongthe storage pests Callosobruchus chinensis infests all pulses except blackgram, which is attacked only by C. maculatus. Lack of seed dormancy isa major constraint in groundnut and mung bean cultivation. Weeds are a very common problem in all legume crops and in all growing zones.Among the abiotic constraints, drought causes severe yield reduction insome years. Sometimes excess rain and high humidity encouragevegetative growth, in turn leading to high disease and pest incidence andresultant yield loss. Terminal heat stress and rainfall also causesubstantial yield loss. In some areas, micronutrient deficiency and soilacidity limit legume cultivation. Among the socioeconomic constraints,low profit, instability of yield, and lack of support price influence thefarmers to follow the traditional practices for legume cultivation whichinevitably result in poor yields. The area and production of these legumecrops are generally declining. The government has consequently launcheda Pilot Production Program on lentil, black gram, and mung bean to haltthe declining trend. Details of the constraints and the opportunities to fitthe legumes in new and diversified cropping systems in Bangladesh arediscussed in this chapter

publication date

  • 2000