Biotech Updates

Chinese Farmers Adopt ICRISAT Pigeon Pea

February 9, 2007

Pigeon pea or cajan is adapted to the tropics and subtropics where it is one of the most valuable legumes. It is cultivated for both forage and its edible beans, which are produced in abundance. The International Crops Research institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) has bred pigeon pea varieties and reintroduced the cultivation of this perennial legume in China. From a cultivated area of 50 hectares in 1999 in two provinces, the area under pigeon pea increased to 100,000 ha in 12 provinces in 2006.

Chinese farmers have found diverse uses from pigeon pea - prevention of soil erosion, crop diversification, fodder for cattle and feed for fishes, as a substrate for mushroom cultivation and lac production, as a vegetable, and for the preparation of food products. These uses have made pigeon pea into a multi-purpose crop with a large and diverse portfolio of uses in China.

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