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agricultura chicharo
Farmers in the northern municipality of Jesús Menéndez has planted 536 hectares of chickpeas.

The chickpea, despite being a highly nutritious grain, with wide popular acceptance, has never been grown extensively in Cuba. Historically, the consumption depended on imports, very expensive in these times of global economic crisis.

The engineer Amaury Velazquez, from the Ministry of Agriculture  in Jesus Menéndez, told ACN that the project plans to harvest this year some 740 tons of the grain.

He explained that the chickpea is resistant to the drought affecting the province of Las Tunas. The municipality aims to increase plantings on both, state farms and Credits and Services Cooperatives, and widen it to other municipalities.

Reinold Fernández, one of the biggest producers of chickpeas in "Jesus Menendez", stated that he and his brother in law Gildardo Zaldivar have planted about 27 hectares where they hope to achieve yields of half-ton  per hectare.

The cultivation of the chickpea began in the northern municipality of Jesus Menendez, at about a decade ago. The program, wich also includes the municipalities of Puerto Padre and Manati, is economically supported by Turkey, country with a vast tradition in the sowing and the crop of the grain.

The growth of chickpeas in Cuba is not only popular in Las Tunas, but also in the provinces of Holguin, Guantanamo, Sancti Spiritus, Havana and Pinar del Rio.

The chickpea is grown in many countries of Asia, Europe, Africa and America. Among the main producers are Turkey, Syria, India, Iran, Pakistan and Mexico.

Researches made in 1929 at the experimental station showed the possibility of growing this plant in Cuba. In recent years it was also proved by the National Institute of Fundamental Research in Tropical Agriculture (INIFAT).


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