Chickpea Cultivation

Chickpea Cultivation

Introduction to Chickpea

Chickpea Cultivation:-, (Cicer arietinum), also called garbanzo bean or Bengal gram, annual plant of the pea family (Fabaceae), widely grown for its nutritious seeds. Chickpeas are an important food plant in India, Africa, and Central and South America.

CLIMATIC REQUIREMENTS For Chickpea Cultivation

      Chick pea is a winter season crop but severe cold and frost are injurious to it. Frost at the time of flowering results in the failure of the flowers to develop seeds or in the killing of the seeds inside the pod. It is generally grown under rainfed conditions but gives good returns in irrigated conditions as well. Excessive rains soon after sowing or at flowering and fruiting or hailstorms at ripening cause heavy loss. It is best suited to areas having moderate rainfall of 60-90 centimeters per annum.

SOIL need For Chickpea Cultivation

Chickpea Cultivation can be done on a wide range of soils in India. In the north, gram is generally grown on moderately heavy soils. In Maharashtra and on the Deccan plateau, black cotton soils are used. Light soils, mostly sandy loams are preferred in Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan. Though gram is grown on all kinds of soils, sandy loam to clay loam is considered to be most suitable. The best type of soil for chick pea is one that is well drained and not too heavy. On dry and light soils, the plants remain short while on heavy soils having high water retention capacity, the vegetative growth is abundant, light becomes limiting and fruiting is retarded. The soil chosen for its cultivation should be free from excessive soluble salts and near neutral in reaction. However, it is not suited to soils having a pH higher than 8.5.

Variety of Chickpea

The brief description of some of the important varieties of chick pea is given below:

  1. Desi or Small Seeded Varieties
  1. Avrodhi: This variety matures in 150-155 days. This is a medium tall, semi erect type variety. Grains are brown in color. This variety is resistant to wilt disease. Yield potential is 25-30 quintals per hectare.
  1. Pant G-186: It was developed at G.B. Pant University of Agriculture and Technology, Pantnagar. It matures in 125 days. Yield potential is 22-25 quintals per hectare.
  2. Gaurav: It matures in 140-145 days. Plants are medium and semi erect type. Grains are bold and brownish yellow in color. It’s moderately resistant to rust and blight diseases. Yield potential is 25-30 quintals per hectare.
  3. Uday (KP-75): It matures in 140-145 days. This variety is suitable for late planting. Grains are medium in size and brown in color. It is moderately resistant to wilt. Yield potential is 20-25 quintals per hectare.
  4. Pusa-256: It matures in 145-150 days. Grains are bold and brown in color. This variety is equally suitable for timely and late planting. It is resistant to Ascochyta blight. Yield potential is 22-25 quintals per hectare.
  5. Pusa-362: It matures in 145-155 days. Grains are medium in size. This variety is suitable for late planting in irrigated conditions; it is resistant to wilt disease. Yield potential is 25-30 quintals per hectare.
  6. Pusa-372: It matures in 120-140 days. Grains are medium in size. This variety is susceptible to wilt disease and suitable for late planting. Yield potential is 18-22 quintals per hectare.
  7. JG-315: This variety matures in 145-150 days. It is suitable for growing in rainfed areas. This variety is resistant to wilt disease. Yield potential is 25-30 quintals per hectare.
  8. Haryana Chana-1: This matures in 135-145 days. Plants are dwarf with light green leaves. Grains are bright yellow in color. It is resistant to wilt disease and tolerant to pod borer. It is also suitable for late planting. Yield potential is 22-25 quintals per hectare.
  9. Gora Hisari: It matures in 140-150 days. Grains are bold and light brown in color with good cooking quality. This variety is suitable for irrigated areas only. Yield potential is 18-20 quintals per hectare.
  1. Kabuli Gram Varieties
  1. C-104: It is medium in maturity, seeds are of salmon color and very bold. It is suitable for growing in the irrigated areas in Punjab. In Uttar Pradesh also, it has given very good yield. It should be avoided in humid areas where there is severe attack of blight disease. The average yield is 15-20 quintals per hectare. This variety is suitable for culinary purposes. Its seeds are creamy white and have almost double the size of desi gram.
  2. L-550: It is tall, semi-spreading, medium maturing variety with light green foliage. It is very early in flowering among the kabuli types and matures about ten days earlier than C-104. It matures in 160 days. Its average yield is about 18-22 quintals per hectare. It has shown consistently higher yield in the northern plains and central zone of the country.
  3. L-144: It is a tall and quick growing in irrigated areas of Haryana and Punjab. Seeds are bold and whitish-orange. The average yield is 12-15 quintals per hectare.
  4. Pusa-1003: It matures in 130-135 days. This variety is suitable for growing in irrigated conditions. Seeds are bold. This variety is resistant to wilt. Yield potential is 28 quintals per hectare.
  5. Pusa-1053: It matures in 130-140 days. This variety is suitable for timely planting in irrigated conditions. Seeds are extra bold. It is essential to wilt disease. Yield potential is 25 quintals per hectare.
  6. Sadabahar: It matures in 145-160 days. Grains are green in color. It is tolerant to wilt. Its yield potential is 25-30 quintals per hectare.

CROPPING SYSTEM in Chickpea Cultivation

   Chick pea is sown after the harvest of kharif crops. Chick pea in rotation with cereal crops help in controlling soil borne diseases. The most common cropping systems are as below:

  1. Kharif fallow-chick pea
  2. Rice-Chick pea
  3. Pearl millet-Chick pea
  4. Sorghum-Chick pea
  5. Maize-Chick pea

      Chick pea is grown mixed with wheat, barley, linseed, rapeseed and mustard crops. It is grown mixed with toria in Tarai region.

FIELD PREPARATION For Chickpea Cultivation

      Chick pea is highly sensitive to soil aeration. This imposes a restriction for its cultivation on heavy soils and calls for special care in seedbed preparation. A rough seedbed is required for chick pea. In case the chick pea crop is taken after a kharif fellow, it would be desirable to go for a deep ploughing during the monsoon as the same would help in larger conservation of rain water in the soil profile for subsequent use by this crop. Very fine and compact seedbed is not good for chick pea. If requires a loose and well aerated seedbed.

SEED AND SOWING In Chickpea Cultivation

      Date of sowing has been recognized as single non-monetary input affecting most the yield of chick pea in all chick pea growing areas. Experiments conducted under the All India Co-ordinated Pulse Improvement Project at different Centres over last several years have amply demonstared that second fortnight of October is the optimum time for sowing chick pea in most of the chick pea growing areas of northern India. For peninsular India, first fort night of October is the best time for chick pea sowing. Delay beyond this period results in conspicuous reduction in yield. Under humid sub-tropical conditions of Tarai, which are characterized by shallow water table and relatively more winter rainfall, first fortnight of November is most suitable. Early sowing of chick pea results in excessive vegetative growth and poor setting of pods. The early sown crop suffers more from wilt owing to high temperature at that time.

      The crop may be sown by seed drill or local plough at a row spacing of 30-40 centimeters. A seed rate of 75-100 kg per hectare depending upon seed size may be sufficient for one hectare. The seed should be placed 8-10 centimeters deep because the shallow be treated with 0.25 per cent. Thiram or Carbendazim (Bavistin) before sowing.

MANURES AND FERTILIZERS Application In Chickpea Cultivation

      Chick pea being a leguminous crop fulfills the major part of its nitrogen requirement (about 75%) through the process of symbolic nitrogen fixation which works effectively from three to four weeks after sowing. However, soils with low organic matter and poor nitrogen supply may require 20-25 kg per hectare of nitrogen as starter does which can meet plant requirement before the formation of nodules. Besides nitrogen, pulses respond very favourably to phosphorous application if the soils are deficient in phosphorous supply. If both nitrogen and phosphorous are required to be supplied then diammonium phosphate (18-46-0) at the rate of 100 to 150 kg per hectare should be applied uniformly before the last discing ploughing. Responses to potassium application have been inconsistent. It is better if all the fertilizers are drilled in furrows at a depth of 7-10 centimeters.

WATER MANAGEMENT In Chickpea Cultivation

      Chick pea is mostly sown as a rainfed crop. However, where irrigation facilities are available, give a pre-sowing irrigation. It will ensure proper germination and smooth crop growth. If winter rains fail, give one irrigation at pre-flowering stage and one at pod development stage. In no case first irrigation should be given at flowering time of gram crop. A light irrigation should be given because heavy irrigation is always harmful to gram crop. Excess of irrigation enhances vegetative growth and depresses chick pea yield.

WEED CONTROL In Chickpea Cultivation

      Chick pea being a stature crop suffers severely by infestation of weeds. One hand weeding or inter culture with hand hoe or wheel hoe after 25-30 days and second if needed after 60 days of sowing may take care of weeds. Fluchloralin (Basalin) 1 kg per hectare in 800-1000 liters of water as pre-planting spray may be used as an effective herbicide. It should be well incorporated in the soil before sowing. In case Basalin is not available use Metribuzin or Prometrynen at the rate of 1.0-1.5 kg active ingredient in 800-1000 liters of water per hectare as pre-emergence spray. Hand weeding or inter culture with the help of hoe is always better than herbicides because inter culture operations improve aeration in the soil.

DISEASES Found In Chickpea Cultivation

      The important diseases of chick pea are wilt, sclerotinia blight, grey mold, rust and Ascochyta blight. Symptoms of these diseases and their suitable control measures are given below:


The main cause of this disease is a fungus, Fusarium orthocerus through other fungi are also associated with this disease. This disease causes considerable loss in most of the gram growing regions. The symptoms of the disease may be seen in the seedling stage as well as in an advanced stage of plant growth. The leaves start yellowing and afterwards drying. The plants too become yellowish and finally dry out. Roots turn black and ultimately decompose.

CONTROL MEASURES Of Disease In Chickpea Cultivation

  1. Treat the seed with Benlate T or a mixture of Benlate of Thiram (1:1) at the rate of 2.5 g per kg of seed.
  2. Grow the resistant varieties like C-214, Avrodhi, Uday, BG-244; Pusa-362, JG-315, Phule G-5 etc.
  3. In fields having heavy incidence of gram wilt, the cultivation of chick pea should be avoided for three to four years.
  4. As far as possible sowing of chick pea should not be done before third week of October.
  5. Deep planting of chick pea about 8-10 centimeters deep in the light soils reduces the gram wilt incidence.

Sclerotinia Blight

   It is caused by a gungus Scleritinia sclerotiorum. This diseas causes losses in Punjab, Haryana and Wester Uttar Pradesh. The disease affects all the plants except the roots. The infection in the initial stage is visible on the stem near the ground. The affected plants first become yellow, then brown and ultimately dry out. On close observation, brown colored spots may be seen on affected stem which later girdle it. White cottony growth of the fungus with hard, black colored sclerotia may be seen on these spots on the stem.


  1. Use only healthy seeds free from sclerotia.
  2. Grow disease resistant varieties like G-543, Gaurav, Pusa-261 etc.
  3. After harvest, the diseased plants should not be allowed to stand in the field but should be destroyed by burning.
  4. Treat the soil with a mixture of fungicides like Brassicol and Captan at the rate of 10 kg per hectare.

Grey Mold

      This disease is caused by a fungus Botrytis cinerea survives in the soil. This disease causes considerable damage in tarai area of Uttar Pradesh. Brown necrotic spots appear on twigs, petioles, leaves and flowers of the plant on attaining full vegetative growth. The branches and the stem also get affected parts. The affected stem finally breaks and the plant dies.


  1. Plant the crop late i.e. first fortnight of November.
  2. Spray the crop with 0.2% carbendazim (Bavistin).


      This disease is caused by a fungus Uromyces ciceris arietini. The disease is more severe in Punjab and Uttar Pradesh. The symptoms are visible in early February. Small, round to oval, light or dark brown pustules are formed on the under surface of the leaves. The pustules later turn black. Afterwards, these pustules appear on upper surface of leaves, petioles, twigs and pods. The affected leaves pre-maturely fall and therefore the yield is considerably reduced.


  1. With the appearance of first symptoms, spray the crop with 0.2% Mancozeb 75 WP followed by two more sprays at 10 days interval.
  2. Plant only resistant varieties like Gaurav.

Ascochyta Blight

      This disease is caused by Ascochyta rabi, a fungus which survives on plant trash left in the soil. This is an important disease prevalent in Punjab and parts of Himachal Pradesh. All the plant part except the root is affected. Small round, yellowish-brown spots are seen on the leaves in the months of January and February. The spots also spread to petioles and branches where they are elongated and become dark brown in color. The affected plants finally dry up.


  1. Plant only healthy seed. Before planting treat the seed with fungicides like Thiram or Carbendazim (Bavistin) at the rate of 2.5 g/kg of seed.
  2. Follow three year crop rotation.
  3. Plant resistant varieties/tolerant varieties like G-543, Pusa-256, Gaurav, GNG-146, PBG-1 etc.

 INSECT PESTS Found In Chickpea Cultivation

Some of the important insect pests of chick pea with their control measures are given below:


      Gram cutworm is a serious pest in low lying areas where fields are cloddy. The larvae of this insect remain hidden under these clods during the day time and cause damage during the night. The caterpillars cut the plants at ground level. The pest is sporadic in nature and can be controlled by the application of Lindane 6% granules at the rate of 20-25 kg per hectare mixed in the soil.

Gram Pod Borer

      This is the most serious pest of chick pea and causes damage up to 75 per cent reduction in yield. The caterpillar not only defoliates the tender leaves but also makes holes in the pods and feed upon the developing grains. While feeding on the developing seeds the anterior body portion of the caterpillar remains inside the pod and rest half or so hanging outside. When seeds of one pod are finished, it moves to the next. Unless the pest is controlled in the initial stages of infestation it takes the heavy toll of the crop. As a matter of fact this pest is the most limiting factor in gram production.


  1. Spray Monocrotophos (Nuvacron) 36 EC at the time of pod formation at the rate of 1 millilitre mixed in 1 liter of water. The amount of solution may vary from 600-800 liters per hectare. The spray should be repeated, if needed after 15 days.
  2. Alternatively, spray Endisulfan 35 EC at the rate of 1.25 liters mixed in 1000 liters of water per hectare.

   Crop becomes ready for harvest when leaves turn reddish-brown and start shedding. Plants are either plucked out by hand or cut with sickle. The crop is allowed to dry in sun on threshing floor for about five to six days. Thereafter, threshing is done either by beating the plants with sticks or by trampling under the feet of bullocks.

Harvest Of Chickpea

Timing is critical when harvesting chickpeas, moisture content should be around 13 per cent, any lower will risk seed cracking/shattering. Closed or open front headers can be used to harvest the seed but attention to the correct settings is vital 

YIELD Of Chickpea

      Chick pea has the potential to yield far higher than the national average. A well managed crop yields about 20-25 quintals of grain per hectare which is about three to four times higher than the national average.

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