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  • Writer's picturerutendo matinyarare

DROUGHT RESISTANT PIGEON PEAS.


Pigeon peas turn into trees that last five years or more.
Pigeon peas turn into trees that last five years or more.

Pigeon peas seeds are crop that is almost 3000yrs old.


  1. The crop grows well in drought prone areas and is originally from the Indian subcontinent, so it is good for areas like Africa that are suffering climate change.

  2. It is a perennial crop that grows into a tree and can produce peas for up to eight years and then you can replant the seeds to continue producing.

  3. Because it can grow into a tree, it can form a nice hedge and wind break for other smaller crops or your garden.

  4. It fixes nitrogen into the soil, reducing the need for artificial fertilizers, hence it’s good for intercropping or crop rotation with maize and other nitrogen depleting crops.

  5. It has a long taproot which helps it to bind soil and avoiding soil erosion.

  6. Being an heirloom crop it is not prone to pests and diseases.

  7. The peas can be eaten as dry beans or as green pods.

  8. The peas are high in protein, fiber and antioxidants and thus very good as an animal feed.

  9. Leaves and stems can be used to feed livestock too.

  10. In medicine it contains globulins, cajanin and concajanin which are used to produce sedatives, painkillers and treatments for measles, diabetes, dysentery, jaundice and many other diseases.

  11. Expect yields of about 1.8-1.9tons per hectare and higher yields from crops you rotate them with.

  12. India grows 90% of the crop while it is also grown in East Africa.

  13. Malawi, Tanzania and Kenya are some of the biggest exporters of the bean from Africa to the west.


This is a crop Zimbabweans and other Southern African countries must consider growing as climate change continues to plague us. 20kgs of seeds can costs between $350 -$700 for organic seeds because they are scarce, but you will use them for a lifetime and will not have to rebuy if you manage them well.


We recently sent these to Gambia where they will be reproduced by a good old farmer and friend from the Caribbean.

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