Nutritive Value: Chickpea is popularly known as green gram and is an excellent source of protein. Matured and dried grains of chickpea contain 8 percent water, 60 percent carbohydrates, 20 percent proteins, 5 percent fats and 6 percent crude fibers, and is rich in minerals like calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and iron.
Soil and Climate: Chickpea requires a medium to black soil with a good drainage system. Ill drained soil causes wilting of plants. It is a cool climate crop and hence should be grown in the winter season with residual moisture from rains. The crop grows well at a temperature range of 20 to 25 °C.
Important Varieties: Vijay, Vishal, Digvijay and Virat are popular varieties of chickpea grown as a vegetable and for seed production at maturity.
Planting and Irrigation: Chickpea is sown in the winter season in between 15 October and 15 November. Seeds should be treated with trichoderma biofungicide to control fusarium wilt disease and with Rhizobium biofertilizer for better nitrogen fixation and then sown at 5 to 6 cm depths. Chickpea can withstand conditions of water stress but irrigation should be provided at critical growth stages like post sowing, flowering and pod filling stages for better yield.
Plant Protection: Pod borer is a serious insect pest that attacks chickpea. It appears at the flowering stage, initially feeds on tender leaves and later enters the pods and feeds on it. Green caterpillars can be controlled by handpicking the caterpillar and killing them or spraying neem cake extract or neemark solution. It can also be controlled by nucleo polyhydrosis virus (NPV) suspension. Wilt is a dangerous disease of chickpea caused due to fungal infection from the soil to the root system where whole plants get wilted and dried. Wilt can be controlled by treating the seed with trichoderma before sowing.
Harvesting: Chickpea is harvested for green vegetables at full grown but tender stage. For seed and grain, the crop can be harvested at full maturity when all leaves would turn yellow and fall down on the round. Cut or uproot the plants at ground level, dry in the sun, beat with a stick and separate seeds by winnowing in air.