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Varieties Garbanzo beans Kabuli Chickpeas Desi types
Size Pods with one or two seeds are between 2cm and 5cm
Season August
Storage Crisp and dry conditions at room temperature
Packing 25kg and 50kg polypropylene bags
Transport Conditions Within five days in cool and dry conditions.
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South Africa chickpeas are a minor pulse crop in South Africa and, it is assumed that the varieties grown in South Africa first originated from Turkey. Limpopo and Mpumalanga are the provinces in which the crop is grown and, it is not done on a large scale. It is an annual legume that ranges from 30cm to 70cm in length and, it grows upright, resembling a small bush.

The Desi type is commonly grown in the country and, it is known for its drought-resistant features and its dark, rough coat. The Kabuli type is much lighter in colour, smooth and the seeds are much larger but require sufficient rainfall for them to grow. It is usually available in 25kg and 50kg polypropylene bags, but it is possible to find smaller amounts in a retail shop.

The South Africa chickpeas are known for their nutritional value as well as their use in many forms of diet. The pods are usually spherical in shape and have a hint of a tail and, their stems are glandular with a dark green appearance. The plant has robust roots that can penetrate 2m into the soil while the leaves are simple, pubescent and have a top rachis. 

The chickpeas usually have a high concentration of trace minerals such as manganese while the dietary fibres help to reduce the levels of cholesterol in the body. They are also known to help prevent the rising of blood sugar levels in the body particularly, after a meal and, it is possible to find both soluble and insoluble types.

The plant is grown in wintertime in South Africa and this period ranges between late April and May. They need to be sown in moist soil for them to germinate and, the soil pH levels should range between 6.0 and 7.0. Sandy loam soil is the best for growing the plant and, they do well in areas that have an annual rainfall of between 400mm and 600mm. 

The fact that they have deep taproots helps them grow in dry conditions as regular watering is not a necessity. The best climatic conditions for germination and subsequent flowering requires temperatures ranging between 5°C and 15°C although they can grow in temperatures that do not exceed 29°C.

The plant is usually ready to be harvested after 100 days after germination. When the pods are small and green, they can be consumed when they are still fresh, although it is also possible to pull the whole plant out after the leaves have turned brown and withered. The pods are plucked from the plant and are usually ready for immediate consumption.

The beans are packed in polypropylene bags that range from 25kg to 50kg in size and are usually exported to other parts of the world. One of the chief markets for the country is Europe and, they can be transported to different parts of the world within a week.

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