Kala matar: an indigenous legume crop of spiti valley in the trans-himalayan cold desert of india facing threat of extinction

Naveen Kumar, Gagandeep Singh and Daleep Kumar

Kala Matar or so called black pea is a traditional legume crop grown by the tribal community of snow bound spitivalley in Himachal Pradesh, India. But with the transition of the Spitian economy from a subsistence based to cash based one; this traditional crop has gradually been replaced by market friendly crops. Due to lack of any economic value attached to the black pea it has now been replaced by the more acceptable garden pea which also has a ready market. As a result of this the black pea now faces the threat of extinction. The present study focuses on the need of conservation of this highly nutritious crop which has now become underutilizedinspite having very good source of cholesterol-lowering fiber and excellent amounts of five important minerals, three B-vitamins, and protein—all with virtually no fat. There is need of more research on conservation of such a nutritive crop before its extinction.

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