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Pigeon peas

Scientifically known as Cajanus Cajan, Pigeon Pea belongs to the widespread family of pulses. In India Pigeon Pea is more popular as Arhar or red gram. Its name changes according to the places it is grown in but its qualities remain the same irrespective of climate and soil. It is counted amongst the major pulses of India and many other Asian, African, Latin American, and the Caribbean regions.

Generally Pigeon Pea is a shrub which grows around a meter tall. And it has special short season varieties available as well. Usually the flowering response is enhanced when daylight is 11 to 12 hours long. However due to scientific advances hybrid varieties are available as well which respond to both longer and shorter day lengths equally. On a normal basis flowering begins in 120 to 150 days and accordingly pigeon pea seeds mature in 250 days. Growing Pigeon Pea is profitable enough as these plants yield in less fertile soil and require only normal rainfall. Pods of pigeon pea vary in size and colour ranging from green to purple or dark brown. Raw Pigeon Pea seeds extracted from green colored pods generally are said to be better than those extracted from purple pods.

The Pigeon Pea has a noticeably higher soil adaptability in comparison to other leguminous crops.this proves that Pigeon Pea is a better performingnitrogen fixer. It blossoms well in a wide range of soil types. It is considerably endurable in saline soil conditions as well. Being resistant to nematodes it can also survive in soil with pH as low as 5 and as high as 8.

BENEFITS OF PIGEON PEA/Arhar or Red Gram

  • Survive in poor soil conditions
  • Tolerant of dry weather
  • Nutritious and high-protein pulse crop
  • Leaves can be used for animal feed
  • The fast-growing plants make good shade for other crops, e. g. vegetables, herbs, vanilla
  • Perennial for up to 5 years
  • Woody parts can be used for firewood
  • Water and nutrients from deep in the soil can be caught by its deep taproot
  • Plants can be used along contour barriers for erosion control
  • Helps in agro-ecology, performance of Pigeon Pea as an intercrop is remarkable and even after the harvesting of the intercrops it continues protecting the soil.