Chickpea is a legume originated in Middle East from where it expanded to all the Mediterranean Basin and India. Greeks, Egyptians and Romans discovered its great nutritional value and included it in their daily diet. Given its origin, distribution, tradition and adaptation to our cultural tradition, at the Chickpea Project we champion the future of this species with the following arguments:
- its nutritional richness
- its environmental adaptability
- its relatively low environmental impact
- the need for crop diversification
Its nutritional richness
The nutritional value of 100 g chickpea typically includes:
- 17.5% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for protein
- 30% of the RDA for fiber
- 16% of the RDA for iron
- 51.5% of the RDA for magnesium
At the Chickpea Project, we have germplasm (advanced lines, accessions, etc.) that are particularly rich in fiber and with excellent organoleptic characteristics. The Mediterranean diet at its best!
Its adaptation to the environment
Experience shows that chickpea can be optimally adapted to different latitudes and Mediterranean climatic conditions.
At present, the crop is cultivated across regions as diverse as the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle and Far East, the Indian subcontinent, North and East Africa, Australia and North and South America.
Its low environmental impact
Chickpea is a rainfed crop and, accordingly, does not require large amounts of water. Like other legumes it improves soil structure and enriches it by fixing nitrogen. This favors crop rotation, contributing in this way to a more sustainable model of agriculture.
At the Chickpea Project, we have germplasm (advanced lines, accessions, etc.) resistant to some of the most common diseases. These materials are ideal for ecological (organic) production as the use of pesticides could be reduced or even eliminated.
The need for crop diversification
Its nutritional characteristics together with its high productivity and low water requirements make chickpea a great alternative to corn or cotton, which are cultivated in many parts of Africa and the Mediterranean.
At the Chickpea Project, we believe in the great potential of chickpea as a crop and future food. With a growing world population that demands ever more and better food, chickpea as a cheap source of protein could meet many of the current needs of our planet.