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Description | Overview | History | Cultivation pattern | Dry peas producing countries | Indian yellow peas market | Major trading centers

Dry pea is an annual pulse, legume crop that is consumed throughout the globe. It is usually used in split form and forms integral part of various cuisines of the world. The pea is obtained as seeds from the pod that occurs on the pea plant and is dried in the sunlight to produce dry pea. This crop is considered to be the best crop for the purpose of nitrogen fixing of the soil as it converts nitrogen into nitrogen nodules in large numbers, keeping the soil fertile. Two types of dry pea are cultivated – dry green cotyledon and dry yellow cotyledon.


Pea is one of the most popular food crops in the world as they are very nutritious and also an easy to grow crop. Dry peas usually grow in the cooler areas of the world unlike the other major pulses of the world. But they have a universal appeal, as they are required in all over the world for consumption. They are excellent source of proteins, carbohydrates and other vitamins, which are good for human consumption and also for the livestock consumption. Due to the regular developments, a number of varieties of pea have been discovered. Dry peas are naturally dried peas that are consumed in soups, stews and various other cuisines. Dry peas further have two sub categories namely dry green peas and dry yellow peas.

The world production of dry peas in the world is somewhat concentrated as a few countries only are indulged in the production of the major share of world’s produce. The world production hovers around 12 million tons, Canada being the largest producer among all. The dry peas are consumed in the split form as it takes lesser time to cook after splitting. The pulse that is so rich in nutrients is mostly used as a food but it is also used as a manure crop, forage crop, and it also produces a pea starch that is used in industrial application. Around 30-35% of the world production of dry peas is traded in the world market, making it up to a quantity of around 2.5 million tons. The list of major countries that export dry peas leaded by Canada is given below

  • Canada (1042427 metric tons)

  • France (528207 metric tons)

  • United States of America (118964 metric tons)

  • Australia (91795 metric tons)

  • United Kingdom (61608 metric tons)

  • Germany (49779 metric tons)

  • Russia (43624 metric tons)

  • Ukraine (43239 metric tons)

  • Denmark (33023 metric tons)

  • Tanzania (27076 metric tons)

As the production of this pulse in the world is concentrated, over 140 countries are relying on the imports of dry peas. Still, the imports are also concentrated as most of the countries produce pea and have lesser population to feed. The major dry pea importing countries with their import figures pertaining to the year 2003 are

  • India (700017 metric tons)

  • Netherlands (267523 metric tons)

  • Belgium (248923 metric tons)

  • Spain (190305 metric tons)

  • Bangladesh (115069 metric tons)

  • Italy (87651 metric tons)

  • China (76301 metric tons)

  • Pakistan (64395 metric tons)

  • Cuba (41780 metric tons)

  • United States of America (39622 metric tons)


According to the archeologists, the green pea, also known by the name of garden pea originated in China or Egypt dating back to around 10000 years. The clues of the presence of peas have been found from the archeological sites of the Middle East. The people in china believe that the father of agriculture in china, Shu Nung, discovered peas 5000 years ago. Also, there are many legends and stories related to the origination of peas. One of the legends suggests that pea occurred in the world as a punishment to the humans when Thor, the lord of thunder, sent dragons to foul all the wells on the earth with the help of peas. The earliest references of peas in charred form were obtained from the Egyptian tombs of the 12th dynasty. The crop was domesticated shortly after wheat and barley were domesticated.

The peas were not a popular food crop initially as the other pulses were preferred. In the middle ages, people use to dry these seeds and use to keep it with them to consume it at the time of famine. After America was discovered, the peas was introduced into the country as the people who use to sail to America from Europe kept with them dry peas as they are nutritious and require less space for storage. In fact, it was one of the first crops that were planted into America by the Europeans.

The people in Europe started consuming peas properly as late as in the 17th century. The popularity of wheat shot up at that time and it became a staple food crop for many of the countries.

Cultivation pattern

Pea is a crop that grows well in cool and moist weather. Unlike other vegetable crops, it cannot survive warm temperatures and only yield efficiently if cultivated in cool conditions, though; heat tolerant varieties have also been developed. It takes around 2 months for the planted seed to reach maturity level. The soil should be well drained for the pea plant to prosper without direct contact with fertilizer. Though most of the varieties of pea are self-supportive, once the seed germinates and the plant shows up, it can be tied to a stick or pole for better support.

Different varieties of peas are harvested differently. The garden peas are ready for harvest when they are swollen. The other pea that include sugar snap pea are harvested every 1 to 3 days and the snow peas are picked when the pod reaches it maximum length generally after 5 to 7 days of flowering. In India, pea is an important rabi crop as it is sown in the winter season.

Dry peas producing countries

Dry pea is produced with the help of pea seeds that are dried in the sun and split evenly. The seeds are selected while processing and then are crushed against a baffler. The world’s total production of dry peas stands around 12 million metric tons. The production of dry peas in the world is somewhat concentrated as the world production is in the hands of a few countries only. The largest producer of dry peas is Canada producing over one fourth of the world’s total produce. As a matter of fact, the top 4 dry pea producing countries contribute a share of around 57% of the total production of dry peas in the world. During the last decade, the pea production was in a downtrend and reduced steadily but since 2002, the production has started rising again. The list below shows the major producers of the world with their production figures in the year 2005
  • Canada (3169900 metric tons)
  • France (1332000 metric tons)
  • China (1300000 metric tons)
  • Russia (1030000 metric tons)
  • India (800000 metric tons)
  • United States of America (666550 metric tons)
  • Ukraine (466000 metric tons)
  • Germany (464000 metric tons)
  • Australia (401000 metric tons)
  • United Kingdom (200000 metric tons)
  • Ethiopia (172000 metric tons)
  • Spain (119700 metric tons)
  • Austria (104000 metric tons)
  • Belarus (100000 metric tons)
  • Sweden (66000 metric tons)
  • Czech republic (65000 metric tons)
  • Denmark (53600 metric tons)
  • Pakistan (49300 metric tons)
  • Peru (41500 metric tons)
  • Romania (37000 metric tons)

Production of dry pea in India

India is one of the largest producers of dry pea in the world and stand at the 4th place in the list of major dry pea producers. The Indian production contributes to around 7% in the world’s total produce with the production figures of 800000 metric tons. Uttar Pradesh is the major field pea producing state in India producing about 60% of the country’s produce. The other major pea producing states in India are

  • Uttar Pradesh

  • Madhya Pradesh

  • Bihar

  • Punjab

  • Himachal Pradesh

Indian yellow peas market

India is the major player in the world market when it comes to the pulse scenario. The country is among the major producers, the largest consumer and also the largest importer of pulses in the world. Due the fact that India is the second most populated country of the world and majority of the population depending upon pulses as food, the advantage of being one of the largest producers of pulses in the world is wasted. That is why the country has to rely on pulse import to satisfy the domestic demand. Regarding peas production, India produces around 800000 metric tons of dry peas annually and stands 4th among the major pea producing countries of the world. Uttar Pradesh produces the major share of the country’s produce.

The consumption level for yellow pea in the country is so large that being a dominant producer; India is not able to satisfy its domestic consumption demand. The reason for the large demand is the ever-increasing population of the country and more and more people depending on the dry pea as their staple diet. This is the reason that India also has to import high levels of pulse. This makes India one of the largest importers of the crop. As a matter of fact, pea is heavily imported into the country and accounts for around 40% of the total pulse import of the country. Most of the yellow pea traded in the country is imported from various pea-exporting countries and the imports account up to around 9 lakh tons annually. Imports of yellow pea into India have shown a rising trend as the imports have increased sharply since last few years. The exporters from which India imports yellow peas are

  • Canada
  • Australia
  • Myanmar
  • France
Market influencing factors
  • Flow of information in the value chain of peas
  • Black marketing and Hoarding
  • Crop situation in the major pea producing countries
  • Prices of the competitive pulses in the country like chickpea, tur, urad etc
Major trading centers of yellow pea

The major trading centers of yellow pea in India are

  • Mumbai (Maharashtra)

  • Jalgaon (Maharashtra)

  • Latur (Maharashtra)

  • Akola (Maharashtra)

  • Indore (Madhya Pradesh)

  • Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh)

  • Vidisha (Madhya Pradesh)

Also, yellow pea is traded in Indian commodity exchanges namely, National Commodity & Derivatives Exchange ltd and Multi Commodity Exchange of India ltd.

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