Dolichos Bean (LabLab) Bean Farming in India: A Comprehensive Guide

Dolichos bean, also known as LabLab bean, is a popular legume crop cultivated in India. Its scientific name is Dolichos lablab, and it belongs to the Fabaceae family. This versatile crop has gained significant attention in recent years due to its nutritional value, adaptability, and multiple uses. In this article, we will explore the various aspects of Dolichos bean farming in India, including its cultivation practices, benefits, challenges, and market potential.

Overview of Dolichos Bean (LabLab) Bean

Dolichos bean, also referred to as LabLab bean, is a warm-season legume crop widely cultivated in India. It is known for its ability to fix atmospheric nitrogen and enrich the soil, making it a valuable component of crop rotation systems. The beans are consumed as a vegetable and are highly nutritious, rich in protein, dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Dolichos bean plants are vigorous climbers with attractive flowers, making them suitable for both food production and ornamental purposes.

Climate and Soil Requirements

Dolichos bean thrives in warm and humid climatic conditions. It requires a temperature range of 25-35°C for optimal growth and development. The crop is highly adaptable and can be grown in a wide range of soil types. However, well-drained loamy soils with a pH range of 6.0-7.5 are considered ideal for Dolichos bean cultivation. It is essential to avoid waterlogged conditions to prevent root rot and other diseases.

Varieties of Dolichos Bean

Several Dolichos bean varieties are cultivated in India, each with its unique characteristics and adaptability to different regions. Some popular varieties include:

  1. Pusa Barsati: Early-maturing variety suitable for rainfed conditions.
  2. Pusa Sem 2: High-yielding variety with good disease resistance.
  3. Pusa Barsati Local: Indigenous variety known for its drought tolerance.
  4. Pusa Komal: High-yielding variety with good pod quality.

Farmers should choose the appropriate variety based on their local climatic conditions, soil type, and market demand.

Land Preparation and Planting

Before sowing Dolichos bean seeds, proper land preparation is crucial. The following steps should be followed:

  1. Clear the field of any weeds or crop residues.
  2. Plow the land thoroughly to break up the soil and improve aeration.
  3. Level the field to ensure uniform water distribution during irrigation.

Dolichos bean seeds can be sown directly in the field or raised in nurseries for transplanting. The recommended spacing between rows is 60-75 cm, and the distance between plants should be 30-45 cm. Sow the seeds at a depth of 2-3 cm and cover them with soil.

Nutrient Management

Proper nutrient management is essential for the healthy growth and high yield of Dolichos beans. Before planting, a soil test should be conducted to determine the nutrient status of the soil. Based on the results, appropriate doses of organic manures and fertilizers should be applied. Dolichos beans benefit from the application of well-decomposed farmyard manure or compost. Phosphorus and potassium fertilizers can be applied as per soil test recommendations. Nitrogen fixation by Dolichos bean plants reduces the need for nitrogen fertilizers.

Irrigation Techniques

Dolichos bean plants require adequate moisture throughout their growth cycle. The following irrigation techniques are commonly used:

  1. Furrow Irrigation: In this method, water is applied through furrows or trenches made along the rows of plants.
  2. Drip Irrigation: Drip irrigation is an efficient method that delivers water directly to the roots, reducing water wastage and weed growth.
  3. Sprinkler Irrigation: Sprinklers can be used to evenly distribute water over the field.

The frequency and amount of irrigation should be based on the soil moisture levels and weather conditions.

Pest and Disease Management

Dolichos beans are susceptible to various pests and diseases that can affect their growth and yield. Common pests include aphids, pod borers, and leafhoppers. Regular monitoring of the crop and early detection of pests can help in timely intervention. Integrated Pest Management (IPM) practices, such as the use of biopesticides and cultural methods, can effectively manage pests.

Diseases like powdery mildew, bacterial wilt, and anthracnose can also impact Dolichos bean plants. Crop rotation, seed treatment, and maintaining proper plant spacing can help reduce the incidence of diseases. If necessary, fungicides or bactericides should be used as per the recommendations of agricultural experts.

Weed Control Measures

Weed competition can significantly reduce the yield of Dolichos beans. Effective weed control measures are essential to ensure optimal plant growth. Some weed control methods include:

  1. Hand Weeding: Manual removal of weeds using hand tools or by hand.
  2. Mulching: Applying organic mulch around the plants to suppress weed growth.
  3. Herbicides: Selective herbicides can be used under expert guidance to control weeds.

Regular monitoring of the field is necessary to identify weed infestations and take appropriate action.

Harvesting and Post-Harvest Management

Dolichos beans are ready for harvest within 90-110 days after sowing, depending on the variety and climatic conditions. The pods should be harvested when they reach the desired maturity stage. Harvesting should be done carefully to avoid pod damage.

After harvest, the beans can be shelled and used fresh or processed for value-added products. Proper post-harvest management, including sorting, grading, and packaging, is crucial to maintain the quality and extend the shelf life of the beans.

Market Potential and Economic Viability

Dolichos beans have a promising market potential in India and abroad. With increasing awareness of their nutritional benefits and versatility, the demand for Dolichos beans has been on the rise. They are consumed as a vegetable, used in animal feed, and processed into various products like flour, snacks, and canned foods. Farmers can explore local markets, export opportunities, and value addition to maximize the economic viability of Dolichos bean farming.


Dolichos bean (LabLab) farming in India offers numerous benefits to farmers and consumers alike. Its nutritional value, adaptability, and market potential make it an attractive crop to cultivate. By following appropriate cultivation practices, managing pests and diseases, and implementing effective post-harvest techniques, farmers can achieve high yields and profitability. Embracing Dolichos bean farming can contribute to sustainable agriculture and food security in India.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q: What is the ideal temperature range for Dolichos bean cultivation?

A: Dolichos beans thrive in temperatures ranging from 25°C to 35°C.

Q: Can Dolichos beans fix atmospheric nitrogen?

A: Yes, Dolichos beans have the ability to fix atmospheric nitrogen, enriching the soil.

Q: What are some popular Dolichos bean varieties in India?

A: Popular varieties include Pusa Barsati, Pusa Sem 2, Pusa Barsati Local, and Pusa Komal.

Q: How long does it take for Dolichos beans to mature?

A: Dolichos beans are ready for harvest within 90-110 days after sowing.

Q: What are the market prospects for Dolichos beans?

A: Dolichos beans have a promising market potential due to their nutritional value and multiple uses.