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Chickpea Revolution: UK's Groundbreaking Breeding Programme to Reinvent Agricultural Sustainability

In a significant stride towards agricultural sustainability, UK researchers have initiated an ambitious project - Cicero. In a move to revolutionize the UK's Chickpea production, this venture has bagged a £500,000 grant awarded to the crop science organization NIAB.

Contrary to the current scenario where manufacturers largely depend on imported chickpeas, Cicero brings the spotlight on domestic production with a keen focus on reducing on-farm fertiliser requirements, consequently curbing the emissions associated with fertiliser production and application.

The UK's chickpea yields and quality have been inconsistent due to unsuitable varieties. NIAB researchers, complemented by the expertise of Norfolk-based grower Place UK, aim to overturn this situation. The project will conduct extensive variety trials and agronomy testing to evaluate the feasibility of replacing imported chickpeas.

The two-year venture, despite its limited timeline, promises to bring new chickpea populations to field evaluation by spring 2025. With a diverse collection of chickpea material ready for replication in field nurseries, the project is poised to kickstart the development of UK-adapted material.

The Cicero project is likely to have three major implications on the market:

1. The displacement of imported chickpeas could boost the domestic economy and promote self-sufficiency.

2. The project’s focus on reducing fertiliser use aligns with global sustainability efforts, offering an environmentally-friendly model for other agricultural sectors.

3. The potential for improved end-use quality of UK crops signals opportunities for new and existing businesses in the food industry.

This pioneering endeavor underscores the importance of innovation in redefining agricultural practices to meet ever-evolving market demands. Join us at for more market-oriented insights and developments.



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