Harvesting And Storage

Harvesting Processing


  • Green pigeon pea pods are harvested for different purposes. Near cities where they can be readily marketable they are harvested for sale as vegetable.
  • Fully developed, bright green seed is preferred, so pods should be harvested just before they start loosing their green colour, it is important to remember that the appearance of pods at their stage varies between cultivars.
  • Green pods used as a vegetable are commonly picked by hand.
  • There is a considerable potential for the increased consumption of vegetable pigeon pea in India because new high quality vegetable cultivars are becoming increasingly available and consumers are learning the new ways of eating the crop.
  • Dry seeds of Pigeon pea are harvested when the pods are fully ripe and have turned yellow but before the pods start shatter.
  • Nearly mature pods continue to ripen even after plants are cut, but very dry pods shatter and heavy losses occur when plants are cut.
  • Harvesting is usually done mannually by using sickle to cut plants and vines, but occasionally by machines and is followed by drying and threshing. Harvested material is dried in the sun in the threshing yard for about a week, depending on the weather conditions.
  • Threshing is done both mannually and mechanically. Mannual threshing involves beating vines and pods with sticks to separate out the seed, and in some places by cattle trampling.
  • In some places mechanical threshers are used.

Storage Practices

  • Storage of food grains is an important aspect of Post Harvest Technology.
  • Food grains requirement of any country remains constant throughout the year regardless of price and season.
  • Supply of food grains has to be maintained by proper stage throughout the year.
  • Storage losses are considerably higher in pulses than in cereals.
  • Pigeon pea is usually stored for long periods to ensure availabilty of whole seed at the time of sowing, and as a dhal to meet consumer requirement.

Storage Pests

  • Pulse beetles popularly known as dhoras are important of Pigeon pea in India.
  • There are three bruchidspecies.
  • Callosobruchus Chinensis
  • Callosobruchus maculatus and (the most important)
  • Callosobruchus analis
  • These insects begin their infestation when the pods are in ripening stage in the field, subsequently carried with grain into the stores after harvesting, resulting in considerable losses.
  • None of the cultivars was completely resistant to the attack although sucescephibility varied significantly among cultivars.
  • Seed characters such as size, colour and texture were not related to beetle preferrence.
  • However seed coat thickness influences beetle incidence.

Storage Pests

  • Methods of storage play an important roll in reducing storage losses but they are only partially successfull, because of poor storage conditions particularly store construction.
  • As farm level, storage structures made of steel, mud, wood, plastic and concrete or jute bags are frequently used to store pigeon pea.
  • Mud bins are most commonly used by farmers.
  • Storage in jute bags is common in markets and urban dhall mills.
  • There is little difference in the storage structures meant for seeds or grain for consumption.
  • Seed treatment to reduce storage losses are becoming increasingly important. Toxic Chemicals are used to protect seed stocks against insects and seed borne pathogens.
  • Commonly used insecticides are DDT, BHC and Malathion.
  • Ethylene dibrormide as a fumigant and malathion mixed with tricalcium phosphate at 0.2% have been found to be quite effective. But fumigation with toxic chemicals causes considerable loss in viability.
  • Coating of stored pulses with thin film of edible oil to protect them against insect infestation is an age old practice.
  • Oil treated seeds were not preferred by pulse beetles.
  • There is less pulse beetle infestation if pigeon pea is stored in the form of dhal.
  • Use of chemicals can be avoided for the control of storage pests to make them safer consumable stocks.


Processing Of Dry Seed (Dehulling)

  • In many countries of the world grain legumes are initially processed by removing the hull and splitting into dicotylednous components.
  • Dehulling pigeonpea is a primary process that converts the whole seed into dhal.
  • Dehulling operation is usually performed in two steps, the first involves loosening the husk from the cotyledons and the second removing the husk from cotyledons and splitting them using a roller machine or stone chakki.

Dehulling methods

  • Dehulling pigeonpea is an age old practices in India In earlier days hand pounding was common, this was later replaced by stone chakkis.
  • Several traditional methods are used, that can be broadly classified under two categories.

Wet Method

  • Involves water soaking, sun drying and dehulling.

Dry Method

  • Involves oil/water application, Sun drying and dehulling.
  • Depending on magnitude of operation
    1. Large scale commercial dehulling of large quantities of pigeonpea into dhall in mechanically operated mills.
    2. Small scale home processing method adopted by villagers using a stone chakki.

Large Scale Processing

  • Graded Material made to pass through a roller machine, which causes a mild abrasion. (Tempering operation)
  • Tempering operation causes slight scratches on the seeds and enhances their oil and water absorbing efficiency leading to the loosening of the testar.
  • Material is then treated with oil and water.
  • Spread on drying yards to dry under the Sun. After sundrying the material is dehusked in a roller machine.
  • Various products VIZ dehusked split (dhal) dehusked un split (pearled), and undehusked material of split and unsplit seeds are detained.
  • The products are separated and if required the whole operation is repeated to obtain more dhall.

Small Scale Dehulling

  • Basic unit is a 'Chakki' comprising two grinding stones.
  • Treatments given to grain before dehulling vary from region to region.
  • Soaking pigeonpea in water for 2-14 hours is a common practice.
  • Treating the material with oil/water and finally hand pound to remove the seed coat.
  • Another procedure is heating pigeon pea in an iron pan with or without sand before grinding.