For the past 30 plus years (he started in the 70's), Ted Knight has been breeding chickpeas at the Tamworth Agricultural Institute in New South Wales (Australia).
Job titles and occupations come and go. Who would think of chickpea breeder as one of them.
In Australia's homegrown chickpeas (Hunter Gatherer, November 29) by Carli Ratcliff, Ted Knight confesses that “in the 1970s, we thought growing chickpeas as a major crop was quite a long shot,” he says. “There was very little info about chickpeas around at the time and we envisaged them as a possible stock feed, rather than as a crop for human consumption.”
The article also notes that "in 1979, chickpeas became a commercial crop in Australia, at the same time, India’s ability to produce enough cereal crops (including chickpeas) began to diminish. In the last 50 years, there has been no rise in production levels of chickpeas in India, but a huge rise in population and demand. Australia has been able to answer the call, expanding the industry and developing new strains of chickpeas through conventional plant breeding, not genetically modified, means."
This goes to show for better or worse that as I mentioned earlier with snails food staples popular in a certain country are not always produced there.
Australia with its chickpea exports shows that there is more to globalization than developping countries taking markets away from wealthier ones.
The Kabuli chickpeas (also known as Garbanzo beans) were thought to have Afghan origins.
In the process of digging for beans, I discovered that Berkeley based The Good Bean offers chick peas as healthy and gluten free snacks including Sea Salt version above....