The World Chickpea and Pigeonpea Economies Facts, Trends, and Outlook uri icon


  • Globally chickpea and pigeonpea are third and fifth most important pulse crops mainly grown in thedeveloping countries by resource-poor farmers in drought prone areas and on degraded soils. Chickpea istraditionally grown in temperate areas while pigeonpea is mainly grown in the tropics. South Asia accountsfor bulk of production of both these pulses. During the last 20 years there has been some diversificationin area and production as reflected in the internationality index of these crops.Considerable progress has been achieved in developing improved short- and medium-duration varietiesof chickpea and pigeonpea that fit specific niches in the cropping pattern. Fallow areas were broughtunder chickpea cultivation as the crop could now escape terminal drought. Short- and medium-durationpigeonpea varieties resistant to diseases enabled double cropping leading to an increase in farm income.However, large-scale adoption could not be sustained due to several socioeconomic and technologicalconstraints.Low productivity growth of chickpea and pigeonpea has resulted in declining or stagnant per caputavailability of these pulses in the major producing regions. An important policy question is whether thedecline in per caput availability of pulses is a supply or demand constraint. In the short to medium term,supply would be more constrained than demand for both chickpea and pigeonpea. Population and incomegrowth and positive income elasticity of demand would ensure present levels of consumption. In thelong run demand would be more constrained due to changes in tastes, preferences, and urbanization.Chickpea and pigeonpea complement cereals in production and consumption. Their overall benefitsextend much beyond generating income to resource-poor farmers. For the long run sustainability of thesystem improvement in production through improved varieties resistant to pests and diseases and betteragronomic management should continue in the future

publication date

  • 2001