The Chickpea Portal


A collaborative project between Australia and India


• Chickpea forms a critical component of the Australian and Indian farming system, offering offer a high value alternative to cereals, an important disease break, opportunities for grass weed control and respite from high nitrogen application.

• Chickpea is the major pulse produced in Australia and India, but abiotic stresses such as salinity, drought and heat regularly limit production. Drought alone reduces yield significantly, compounded by high sensitivity to heat and salinity. This situation will become more severe under predicted climate change scenarios and hence specific breeding and selection for tolerance to drought, heat and salinity are urgently required in chickpea.

• Chickpea is one of the world’s most important pulse crops, ranking third in world food legume production. Globally, chickpea production covers an area of 11.9 Mha producing 10.9 Mt (FAOSTAT, 2010). India is the world’s biggest producer with an annual production of around 7.48 Mt representing 68% of total world production. Existing production in India is insufficient to meet demand and every year India imports large quantities of chickpea.

• In Australia, chickpea is also grown as a high value pulse, but serious production only began around 20 years ago. Chickpea has rapidly grown to be Australia’s most valuable pulse crop (602,000 tonnes in 2010, FAOSTAT). A significant quantity of this high value crop is exported to India and other countries for human consumption.

• Chickpea offers significant benefits for human health. The seed is high in protein (20-30%) and dietary fibre, contains approximately 40% carbohydrates and only 3-6% oil. Furthermore, chickpea is a good source of essential minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, iron, zinc and manganese, and has been recognised as one of the nutritionally best composed legumes for human consumption.