Attendees pose for a group photo at the experiential farm during Farmers Field Day

The University of Venda (Univen)’s School of Agriculture successfully hosted the Farmers Field Day on 12 September at C1 Boardroom and Experiential Farm. The Farmers Field Day’s purpose is to exchange information about chickpeas production and to demonstrate chickpea production in the field.

Chickpeas help to stabilize blood sugar levels

Chickpeas have spread their culinary influence across the world. They also come with a range of potential health benefits. Chickpeas are particularly high in fibre. Studies have shown that people with type 1 diabetes who consume high-fibre diets have lower blood glucose levels and for people with type 2 diabetes higher fibre intake can improve their blood sugar, lipids, and insulin levels.

Chickpeas are a good source of plant-based protein and soluble fibre. Furthermore, they are reach in vitamins and minerals like folate, magnesium, potassium and polyunsaturated fatty acids. They help to stabilize blood sugar levels.

People with sugar diabetes should eat chickpeas- Mr Mashau

Chickpeas are the most complete nutritional food. Mr Mpho Mashau, a Lecturer in the Department of Food Science and Technology, said chickpeas are rich in protein. “Chickpeas also prevent children from suffering from malnutrition. They must be added on the soft porridge, so that they could have a good health,” Mr Mashau added.

Obesity in South Africa is very high. “This peas are also rich in several vitamins and they have ion and iodine. They contain a lot of dietary fibre and can assist the body in fighting obesity, because they reduce the eating habit,” Mr Mashau said. He recommended people with sugar diabetes to eat chickpeas.

You must have good marketing skills- Mr Zwane

In terms of the marketing aspects, Mr Thulani Zwane from Department of Economic Development, said as the department, they support pulse crop.

Mr Zwane encouraged farmers to have good marketing skills. “Whatever you produce, should be well marketed. You have to check how chickpeas are utilised such as for human consumption, industrial and the size of the market,” Mr Zwane said.

He further highlighted that the chickpeas are being imported into South Africa because they have great potential. “Ethiopia is the largest producer of chickpea in Africa,” He concluded.

Mr Tshianeo Mathidi AFASA President asking a question for clarity during Farmers Field Day

The event was attended by the President of the African Farmers Association of South Africa (AFASA) in Limpopo, Mr Tshianeo Mathidi and some of the traditional leaders.

Chickpeas don’t need a lot of water

At the experiential farm, Prof John Ogola from the Department of Plant Production, said that they have planted six different varieties of chickpeas.

Chickpeas actually don’t need a lot of water. Prof Ogola said chickpeas should be planted in winter. “They don’t grow well in summer because of too much rainfall. They should be planted in winter because they do not need lot of water,” Prof Ogola added.

Prof Ogola further said: “It takes 2-4 months for chickpeas to reach maturity depending on the variety and temperature. The plants of Chickpeas should be irrigated once per week.”

Issued by:
Department of Communications & Marketing
University of Venda
Tel.: (015) 962 8525
Date: 14 September 2017

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