Perennial pigeonpea: a multi-purpose species for agroforestry systems

Abstract

Perennial pigeonpea is receiving considerable attention in India as a multi-purpose species for agroforestry systems. Its multiple uses include food, fodder, manure and firewood. Data on perennial pigeonpea, together with relevant information on shorter-duration genotypes, are reviewed in this paper.

Growth of perennial pigeonpea, like that of medium-duration grain types (150 to 190 days) in intercropping systems with cereals, is slow during the first 3 to 4 months. Therefore, it requires minimum sacrifice in terms of yield of annual crops in the system during the first year and offers many of the benefits of tree species in subsequent years. Total dry matter production potential of perennial pigeonpea in peninsular India is more than 15 t ha−1 year−1 consisting of about 2.0 t of grain, 3.0 t of leaf litter, 9.0 t of stems and 1.0 t of residue made up of podwalls and twigs. In addition, pigeonpea improves soil fertility by nutrient cycling and biological nitrogen fixation. Susceptibility of pigeonpea to diseases and negative effects on growth of annual crops are the potential constraints in the semi-arid tropics. Some pertinent areas for further research are proposed.

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Submitted as ICRISAT Journal Article No. 917 for ‘Agroforestry Systems’.

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Daniel, J.N., Ong, C.K. Perennial pigeonpea: a multi-purpose species for agroforestry systems. Agroforest Syst 10, 113–129 (1990). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00115360

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Key words

  • Agroforestry
  • fodder
  • genotype
  • grain yield
  • perennial pigeonpea
  • soil fertility