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Broad Beans: Insider Tips for Cultivation

Broad beans, also known as fava beans are versatile legumes. Explore its health benefits and learn the intricate process of harvesting these nutrient-rich beans.

Shreetu Singh
Broad Beans: The Cultivation Guide, Image source: Canva
Broad Beans: The Cultivation Guide, Image source: Canva

Vicia faba, also known as the broad bean or fava bean, is a widely cultivated legume for human consumption and as a cover crop. It's also used as feed for animals, with varieties like field bean and tic bean. Its cultivation occurs on a small scale in regions like Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Kashmir, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, and Bihar. However, it's important to note that pollen grains and green pods may trigger allergies in some individuals, a condition known as favism or Haemolytic anemia.


  • Some popular varieties include Pusa Sumeet, a high-yield variety with an average yield potential of 180 quintals per hectare, BR-1 and  BR-2 from Bihar, featuring black and yellow seeds and "Jawahar Viva 73-81" from Madhya Pradesh 

  • Exotic varieties like Aquadule Claudin and Imperial White Long Pod introduce further diversity.

Climate and Soil

  • The broad bean, known for its hardiness, thrives at higher altitudes with cooler climates, making it ideal for winter cropping. It can withstand cold temperatures, down to 4°C, 

  • The crop prefers rich, well-drained loamy soil with a pH range of 5.5 to 6.0. However, acidic soils are not suitable but they can tolerate some salinity.

Sowing Time 

Sowing of broad beans typically occurs in September-October and February-March. 

Planting Method 

  • Effective land preparation is crucial for successful broad bean cultivation. Typically, 70-100 kg/ha of seeds are needed for sowing, placed in shallow furrows spaced 75cm apart. Two rows of seeds are sown in each furrow, 25cm apart in a zigzag pattern. Alternatively, they can be sown in a single-row system with a spacing of 45x15cm.

  • For cultivation, the field undergoes deep digging, followed by the application of farmyard manure and NPK fertilizer. Phosphorus, potash, and half of the nitrogen are mixed into the soil during preparation, while the remaining nitrogen is top-dressed during flowering with irrigation. Plant growth regulators like PCPA or alpha/beta-naphthyl acetomide can enhance fruit set, leading to increased yield.

  • Regular intercultural operations, such as hand weeding and hoeing, are essential to control weeds. Tall varieties may need support against wind damage, provided by placing wooden sticks or twigs at one-meter intervals on both sides of the double rows and tying them with twine 30-60 cm above the ground.


Immediately after sowing, the field requires irrigation, followed by light irrigation on the third day. Subsequently, light irrigation should be provided at intervals of 12-15 days. 

Crop Protection

  • Faba beans face diseases like Ascochyta Blight, Anthracnose, Botrytis Chocolate Spot. Sclerotinia Stem Rot, Rust, Bean Yellow Mosaic Virus (BYMV), Aster Yellows, Alternaria Leaf Spot can harm yield and quality. 

  • Effective management involves crop rotations, quality seeds, and timely fungicide treatments. Early detection through regular field scouting is key, allowing for accurate diagnosis and treatment. 

  • To prevent fungicide resistance, rotating fungicide groups is vital. Integrated pest management strategies are crucial for effective disease control.


Broad beans are harvested 3-4 months after spring sowing and 6-7 months after autumn sowing. Preferred when very young, beans are harvested at the green shell stage for immediate use or market. Any remaining pods are left to dry for use as dry shell beans. Expected yields are 7-10 tonnes/ha for pods and 1.8-2.0 quintals/ha for green beans.


Incorporating fava beans into your diet can support weight management, boost immunity, and contribute to overall well-being.

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