Botanical Name: [Cajanus cajan (L.) Millsp]               Family: Leguminoseae 

1.0   Introduction 

Red gram is an important pulse crop in India. It is also known as Pigeonpea or Arhar or Tur. Red gram is mainly cultivated and consumed in developing countries of the world. This crop is widely grown in India. India is the largest producer and consumer of Red gram in the world. Red gram accounted for about 20 percent of the total pulse production of the country during the year 2000-2001. 

Red gram is a protein rich staple food. It contains about 22 percent protein, which is almost three times that of cereals. Red gram supplies a major share of protein requirement of vegetarian population of the country. Red gram is mainly consumed in the form of split pulse as Dal, which is an essential supplement of cereal based diet. The combination of dal-chawal (pulse-rice) or dal-roti (pulse-wheat bread) is an important ingredient in the average Indian diet. The biological value improves greatly, when wheat or rice is combined with Red gram because of the complementary relationship of the essential amino acids. It is particularly rich in lysine, riboflavin, thiamine, niacin and iron.


2.0  Nutritional value of edible portion per 100 g of Red gram


Energy (cal)

Protein (g)



Ca (mg)




min (mg)


vin (mg)

Niacin   (mg)

Vit.A value (mcg)

Red gram



























3.0           Zone wise major commercial varieties of Red gram 

I. North-Western Zone: (Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, J & K)

 Early varieties


Medium varieties

Late varieties


Ø     ‘Parbhat’, ‘UPAS 120’, ‘T 21’, ‘Pusa Ageti’, ‘Pusa 74’,  ‘Pusa 84’, ‘Pant A 1’,‘Pant A 2’, ‘HPA 1’, ‘TT 5’, ‘AL 15’, ‘Manak’, ‘H 77-216’, ‘Sagar’ (‘H 77-208’), ‘BS 1’

‘Sharda’ (‘S 8’), ‘Mukta’ (‘R 60’)

Ø     ‘NP(WR) 15’, ‘Gwalior 3’

II. North-Eastern Zone: (Eastern Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Orissa, Assam)

 Early varieties 

Medium varieties

 Late varieties


 Ø     ‘Parbhat’, ‘UPAS 120’, ‘T 21’, ‘Pusa Ageti’, ‘Pusa 74’,     ‘Pusa 84’, ‘Pant A 1’, ‘TT 5’, ‘BS 1’ 

Ø     ‘Sharda’, ‘Mukta’, ‘Laxmi’, ‘Bahar’, ‘Basant’, ‘BR 65’, ‘BR 183’, ‘C 11’, ‘20(105)’ (‘Rabi’)

Ø     ‘T 7’, ‘T 17’, ‘NP(WR) 15’, ‘Chuni’, (‘B 517’), ‘Sweta’

III. Central Zone:           (Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra)

 Early varieties

Medium varieties

Late varieties


 Ø     ‘Parbhat’, ‘UPAS 120’, ‘T 21’, ‘Pusa Ageti’, ‘Pusa 74’,  ‘J 9-19’, ‘TAT 10’, ‘Visakha 1’(‘TT 6’) 

Ø     ‘Sharda’, ‘Mukta’, ‘C 11’, ‘C 36’, ‘BDN 1’, ‘BDN 2’, ‘No.148’, ‘Khargone 2’, ‘T 15-15’, ‘PT 301’, ‘JA 3’, ‘No.84’, ‘No.290-21’, ‘Hyderabad 185’

 Ø     ‘NP(WR) 15’, ‘Gwalior 3’

IV. Peninsular Zone:       (Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka)

Early varieties

 Medium varieties

 Late varieties


 Ø     ‘Parbhat’, ‘T 21’, ‘Pusa Ageti’, ‘BDN 2’, ‘PT 221’ 

Ø     ‘Sharda’, ‘Hy 3C’, ‘Hy 3A’, ‘Hy 4’, ‘Hy 5’, ‘Co 2’, ‘Co 4’, ‘Co 5’, ‘GS 1’, ‘CPDM 1’, ‘F 52’, ‘C 28’, ‘SA 1’, ‘Palanadu’

Ø     ‘SA 1’



4.0           Harvesting and post-harvest care 

A) Harvesting care 

       The following care should be taken during harvesting: 

1.      Harvesting should be done timely. Timely harvesting will ensure optimum grain quality and consumer acceptance. 

2.      Harvesting before the crops mature, usually result lower yields, higher proportion of immature seeds, poor grain quality and more chances of disease attack during storage. 

3.      Delay in harvesting of Red gram, results in shattering of pods and other losses caused by birds, rats, insects etc.

4.      The best time to harvest the crop is when 80 percent of the pods are fully matured.

5.      If the threshing cannot be done immediately, the harvested materials should be bundled and stacked in a dry place. The stacking should be cubical to facilitate circulation of the air around.


6.      Rogue out the admixtures prior to harvesting, it helps in fetching good price in the market.


7.      Keep the harvested Red gram separately from one variety to another to get true to type variety (grains).

Maturity period of Red gram



Sl. No.


Maturity period


Short duration varieties

100-150 days


Medium duration varieties

150-180 days


Long duration varieties

180-300 days


B) Post-harvest care


Following preventive measures should be taken to avoid post harvest losses: 

a)                 Harvest timely to reduce losses.


b)                 Use proper method of harvesting.


c)                  Avoid the losses in threshing and winnowing by adopting modern mechanical methods.


d)                 Use improved technique of processing.


e)                 Adopt grading for getting remunerative prices inter-alia to avoid financial loss.


f)                    Use good packaging materials for storage as well as for transportation i.e. in B-Twill Jute bags or in HDPE bags.


g)                 Use proper technique in storage.


h)                  Use pest control measures during storage.


i)                    Timely and proper handling (loading and unloading) of Red gram with good transportation facilities at farm and market level, reduces the losses. 

j)                    Avoid use of hooks by labour during handling.


5.0    Grading 

               Grading means the sorting of the homogenous lots of the produce according to the fixed grade standard. Produce is graded in accordance to the various quality factors. 


i) Grading of the Red gram is beneficial to the farmers, traders as well as to the consumers.

ii) Grading of the produce before sale enables farmers to get better price for the produce.

iii) Grading helps the consumers to get standard quality produce at fair price.

iv)  Grading helps the consumer to compare the prices of different qualities of a produce in the market.

v)  Grading reduces the cost of the marketing. 

Grade specifications 


The Agricultural Produce (Grading and Marking) Act, 1937 was enacted to maintain the quality of agricultural produce in India. The Act authorises the Central Government to frame rules related to the fixing of grade standards and the procedure to be adopted to grade the agricultural commodities included in the schedules. According to this Act, certain specifications for Red gram whole and split have been drawn up according to various quality factors.

The grade standards specified for Red gram whole and split drawn by Directorate of Marketing and Inspection are given in Annexure I and II respectively.  

ii) National Agricultural Co-operative Marketing Federation of India Limited (NAFED) 

           NAFED is the nodal agency of Government of India for procuring Red gram in different states under the Price Support Scheme (PSS). The concerned State Co-operative Marketing Federations are the procuring agents for NAFED. 

The Government of India has prescribed only one grade i.e. Fair Average Quality (FAQ) for procurement of pulses including Red gram under the Price Support Scheme.   

            NAFED Grade Specifications of Red gram (Price Support Operation during 2002-2003 marketing season) are given in Annexure III.

iii)  Prevention of Food Adulteration Act (PFA) 

PFA has also prescribed the grade specification for split seeds (Dal) of Red gram which is given in Annexure IV. 

Grading at producers’ level 

            There is an increasing recognition to the fact that producers need to be assisted in grading their produce before sale so that they may get better price. For securing adequate returns to the producer/seller, the scheme of “Grading at Producers’ Level” was introduced in 1962-63 by Directorate of Marketing and Inspection. The main objective of this scheme is to subject the produce to simple test and assign a grade before it is offered for sale. After grading, the producers get prices commensurate with the quality of the produce. The programme is being implemented by the States/Union Territories.  

Sanitary and phyto-sanitary requirements 

             The agreement on Sanitary and Phyto-Sanitary (SPS) measures is a part of the GATT Agreement, 1994, for export and import trade. The aim of the agreement is to prevent the risk of introduction of new pests and diseases in new region i.e. importing countries. The main purpose of the agreement is to protect human health, animal health, and Phyto-Sanitary situation of all member countries and protect the members from arbitrary or unjustifiable discrimination due to different Sanitary and Phyto-Sanitary standards. 

When SPS Required: The SPS agreement applies to all Sanitary and Phyto-Sanitary measures, which may directly or indirectly, affect international trade.  Sanitary measures deals with human or animal health, and Phyto-Sanitary measures are related to plant health.  SPS measures are applied in four situations for the protection of human, animal or plant health: 

1.   Risks arising from the entry, establishment or spread of pests, diseases, disease- carrying organisms or disease causing organisms.

2.   Risks coming from additives, contaminants, toning or disease-causing organisms in foods, beverages or feedstuffs.

3.   Risks arising from diseases carried by animals, plants or products thereof, or from the entry, establishment, or spread of pests.

4.   Prevention or limitation of damage caused by the entry, establishment or spread of pests. 

The SPS standards commonly applied by Governments as they affect imports are: 

(i)           Import Ban (Total/partial) are generally applied, when there is a significant rate risk about a hazard.

(ii)         Technical specification (Process standards/Technical standards) are most widely applied measures and permit import subject to compliance with pre-determined specification.

(iii)       Information Requirements (Labelling Requirements/Control on Voluntary claims)   permit imports provided they are appropriately labelled.