Mungbean / Cowpea / Pigeonpea / Chickpea / Soybean / Black gram
Blackgram is one of the important grain legumes in the rainfed farming system in dry and intermediate zones of Sri Lanka. It can be grown under low moisture and fertility conditions. It has high nutritive value and consist high content of proteins, vitamins and minerals.
Presently, blackgram is successfully cultivated in the districts of Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Vavuniya, Kurunegala, Puttlam, Killinochchi, Mulathiv, Batticaloa and Jaffna. About 80% of blackgram crop cultivated during maha season as rainfed uplands crop and rest is grown in yala in paddy fields with supplementary irrigation. Cultivated extent and production of blackgram vary from year to year with a decreasing trend (Table 01). Consequently, the production is not sufficient for the demand. The national average yield of blackgram has been stagnating around 0.7-0.8 t/ha over the years, and it is far behind the research yield, which is about 1.5-2.0 t/ha. Until early nineties large quantities of blackgram were exported to various countries and no importation were recorded. However, recent figures illustrates that the large quantities of blackgram are imported annually (Table 01).
Extent, production and import data of blackgram in last five years
Source: Economics division, DOA
Nutritional value of blackgram
Blackgram is one of the rich sources of vegetable protein and some essential minerals and vitamins for the human body
Approximate analysis of nutrients in 100g of edible portion of blackgram
|Protein ( %)
|Fat (% )
|Crude fiber ( %)
|Starch ( %)
|Vitamin A (IU)
|Vitamin B1 (mg / 100g )
||0 .52- 0.66
|Vitamin B2 (mg / 100g )
||0.29 - 0.22
|Niacin ( mg / 100g )
|Vitamin C ( mg / 100 g )
|Iron (mg / 100g )
|Calcium (mg / 100g )
Source : AVRDC,
||MI - 1
|Year of recommended
|Days to maturity
|1000 Seed wt.( g )
|Average yield ( t / ha )
|Pest and Diseases
|Mungbean Yellow Mosaic Virus(MYMV)
|Cercospora leaf spot
Environmental /growth requirement
Prefer dry whether condition, Optimum T between 25 C - 35 C Maturity period should be coincide with the dry whether condition for high yield and quality seeds (this is one of the criteria to decide time of planting)
Optimum soil requirement pH 6-7
Well drained sandy to loam soil
Suitable Climatic Zones Dry & intermediate
Suitable cropping systems Can successfully incorporate in to the different types of cropping systems.
1. Rainfed uplands - maha / yala Mono culture
Intercropping: eg. Maize + blackgram
2. Rainfed lowlands yala Mono culture Intercropping
3. Major irrigation schemes - yala -Rice- legume system.
Blackgram can be grown as a relay crop before the on set of yala rains or with rainfall during yala season.
4. Minor irrigation schemes - yala
5. Under agro well -yala
Land preparation Plough and harrow the land. Make ridges or flat beds according to the water supply
Seed rate MI-1 - 30 kg/ha
Planting method Put 2 seeds/hill and thin out weaker plant after 10-12 days
Space between rows - 30-40 cm ( 12 "- 16" )
Between plant in a rows - 10cm ( 2 ?- 3")
Depth of seeding - 1-1.5cm
Best time for cultivation Maha (wet) season - mid September to October
Yala (dry) season - March- April
Late planting crop can be damaged by MYMV disease or by drought.
Fertilizer application Basal dressing : Apply and incorporate in to the soil before sowing.
Urea 35, Triple super phosphate 100, Murate of potash 75 kg/ha
Top dressing : Apply at flowering (about 30 days after sowing)
Urea 30 kg/ha
Weed control Keep the crop free of weeds in first 6 weeks from seedling emergence, until the canopy is established. Before application of top dressing weeding should be done. If there are more weeds regular weeding should be practiced in 2 weeks interval.
Irrigation Proper soil moisture is important for good and uniform germination (first 3 weeks). In dry condition, water supply should be done 4 days interval. After 3 weeks, irrigation should be done 7 days interval. When pod maturing time water supply should be cut down.
Sufficient moisture is essential during germination, flowering and seed filling stages.