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Chickpea [Cicer arietinum L.]

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The situation in Japan and information from the NIAS genebank
Chick pea is called "Hiyoko mame". Chick pea is not cultivated in Japan. Japan imports chick pea mainly from Mexico and the USA (Zatsumame Yunyu Kikin Kyokai 1995). The amount of import was 859 MT in 1994.
Chick pea is thought to have been domesticated in West Asia some 7000 years ago, from its presumed wild ancestor, Cicer reticulatum (Smartt, 1990).
Ladizinsky (1975) collected and identified wild progenitor of chick pea, C.reticulatum, in Turkey.
India is the secondary center of genetic diversity.
Chick pea is the only cultigen in the genus Cicer (Smartt 1990).The genus Cicer contains some 40 species. 2n=14.
Chick pea is an erect or spreading annual crop which favors a cool and dry climate.
Seed looks like a chick's head.
Leaf is compound (odd-pinnate leaf). All plant parts are covered with glandular hairs. Pod contains one or two seeds.
The whole dried seeds are eaten cooked or boiled or in the form of dhal, which is prepared by splitting the seeds in a mill and separating the husk (Purseglove,1974). In Uzbekistan, chick pea is used as an ingredient of "pulof (pilaf)" (Tomooka et al.1995).
Ladizinsky,G. (1975) A new Cicer from Turkey. Notes from the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh 34: 201-202. (cited from Smartt, 1990).
Purseglove, J.W. 1974. Cicer arietinum, In "Tropical Crops : Dicotyledons." London : Longman. pp.246-250.
Smartt,J. 1990. Grain Legumes. Cambridge University Press. pp.229-244.
Tomooka,N., H.Nakano, E.Potokina and K.I.Baimetov. 1995. Food legumes. In "A Report of Explorations in Russia and Central Asia (1993-1994).eds. Nakagahra,M. and K.Okuno. National Institute of Agrobiological Resources, Japan. pp. 23-44.
Zatsumame Yunyu Kikin Kyokai (1995) Yunyu Mamerui Zukan (A pictorial book of imported food legumes) (in Japanese).