By Saintly Ngwenya.
As farmers are pondering on which horticultural crop to grow, we have decided to add another crop from the list they can choose from. Peas in Zimbabwe are mainly consumed as green peas, with few farmers growing field peas. Green peas are mainly favoured due to their easiness in cultivation and crop requirements.
Peas are used in rotation as they are not heavy feeders and can break life cycles of diseases for common horticultural crops like tomatoes and onions. Peas realise better returns when sold as fresh peas in local markets. There is also a growing export market of locally produced peas. Though there is little of value addition on green peas, canned and frozen peas are fetching a good price in vegetable markets. Moreover, peas do not require specialised cultivation or harvesting equipment, which means farmers can make use of their available resources to grow the crop.
The best time to plant peas is between March and May. Under controlled environments one can opt to grow the crop when supply is low.