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Chickpeas is the third most important food legume grown in 11 m ha with 9 million ton production. It provides a high quality protein to the people in developing countries. People in the developed countries consider it as a health food. Green leaves/twigs of chickpea are used in preparing a nutritious vegetable in countries of South Asia.
These are also used as high protein fodder mixed with cereal leaves. Chickpea stover is fed to the cattle/goats as a nutrient-rich supplement to their major cereal fodder in the lean season.
Two main types are recognized. Desi type with small and brown seed accounts for nearly 90% and kabuli type with bold and cream-colored seed, is grown in around 10% area. Nearly 90% of the crop is cultivated rain-fed mostly on receding soil moisture and on marginal lands. If managed well, the crop could bring high returns to the farmer in addition to enhancing sustain ability of agricultural systems.
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