Pigeon peas plant in garden in Aranguez for article grow your own food in Sweet T&T, Sweet TnT, Trinidad and Tobago, Trini, vacation, travel

Grow your own pigeon peas

A pigeon peas plant flourishes in the yard of a resident on Aranguez Main Road, San Juan. This plant makes it easy for you to prepare a delicious pot of pelau or Sunday lunch with stewed pigeon peas without the hassle. Having a kitchen garden gives you chemical free foods and cuts down your grocery bill drastically. Try planting some pigeon peas today and enjoy it.

February 2016 – Issue 20    www.sweettntmagazine.com

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About the pigeon peas

Today, pigeon pea is widely cultivated in all tropical and semitropical regions of both the Old and the New Worlds. Pigeon peas can be of a perennial variety, in which the crop can last three to five years (although the seed yield drops considerably after the first two years), or an annual variety more suitable for seed production.

Pigeon pea is an important legume crop of rainfed agriculture in the semiarid tropics. The Indian subcontinent, eastern Africa and Central America, in that order, are the world’s three main pigeon pea-producing regions. Pigeon peas are cultivated in more than 25 tropical and subtropical countries, either as a sole crop or intermixed with cereals, such as sorghum (Sorghum bicolor), pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum), or maize (Zea mays), or with other legumes, such as peanuts (Arachis hypogaea). Being a legume capable of symbiosis with Rhizobia, the pigeon pea enriches soil through symbiotic nitrogen fixation.

The crop is cultivated on marginal land by resource-poor farmers, who commonly grow traditional medium- and long-duration (5–11 months) landraces. Short-duration pigeon peas (3–4 months) suitable for multiple cropping have recently been developed. Traditionally, the use of such input as fertilizers, weeding, irrigation, and pesticides is minimal, so present yield levels are low (average = 700 kg/ha). Greater attention is now being given to managing the crop because it is in high demand at remunerative prices.

Pigeon peas are very drought-resistant, so can be grown in areas with less than 650 mm annual rainfall. With the maize crop failing three out of five years in drought-prone areas of Kenya, a consortium led by the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) aimed to promote the pigeon pea as a drought-resistant, nutritious alternative crop. Successive projects encouraged commercialization of legumes, by stimulating the growth of local seed production and agro-dealer networks for distribution and marketing. This work, which included linking producers to wholesalers, helped to increase local producer prices by 20–25% in Nairobi and Mombasa. The commercialization of the pigeon pea is now enabling farmers to buy assets, ranging from mobile phones to productive land and livestock, and is opening pathways for them to move out of poverty. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pigeon_pea

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