THE POTENTIAL OF PIGEON PEA (CAJANUS CAJAN MILLSP) AS A HORTICULTURAL CROP IN EAST AFRICA

K.O. Rachie, R.T. Wurster
The pigeon pea, also known as redgram, arhar, turdhal, gandul, mpindi, nkolimbo and mbaazi is a member of the Papilionoideae (Leguminosae) and is not often considered to be a horticultural crop. Pigeon pea is, nevertheless, one of the fastest growing cash crops for canning and, in 1968, in the Eastern Region of Kenya it ranked sixth in value after coffee, vegetables, miraa, beans and maize. A total of 5 471 tons of seeds, worth K£ 126 255, was produced in 1968. This was more than twice the value of the 1967 crop which was worth K£ 48 552 and it is expected that the 1970 crop will be twice this value. Returns per acre to the cultivator have averaged E.A. Shs. 1 134/- for 4 200 lbs* fresh pods, compensated at the rate of E.A. Shs 0. 27/- lb. In value per hectare to the farmer, pigeon peas ranked fifth after onions, vegetables, potatoes and chillies but production costs are considerably lower than they are for other vegetables (Kenya Department of Agriculture, 1969).

Canned beans from Kenya are shipped primarily to Eastern U. S. A., but there is also an unexplored market in Eastern Europe. A large percentage of the processed beans produced in Puerto Rico are marketed in the United States, principally in New York and Hicago, where the major consumers are transposed Latin Americans - primarily Puerto Ricans. The price of fresh or tinned green beans ranges between U. S. $ 2.20 - U. S. $ 3.30 (E. A. Shs 15 – 22/-) per kilogramme in Puerto Rico, and the relatively small crop (4 000 tons from 5 000 ha) is worth two million dollars (£ 700 000) annually to Puerto Rican farmers. The production and farm value of pigeon peas in the Caribbean region is expected to increase over an indefinite period owing to the rapidly expanding demand in the Western Hemisphere (Abrams, 1969).

Rachie, K.O. and Wurster, R.T. (1971). THE POTENTIAL OF PIGEON PEA (CAJANUS CAJAN MILLSP) AS A HORTICULTURAL CROP IN EAST AFRICA. Acta Hortic. 21, 172-178
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.1971.21.28
https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.1971.21.28

Acta Horticulturae