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Pea, Pisum sativum / Leguminosae (Fabaceae)
Peas (Pisum sativum) are original from the Old Continent, although there are many doubts about their true origin. Their use is relatively common in Europe, and they were probably introduced from Palestine or Egypt into European Eastern areas of the Mediterranean sea, considered as the main centre of diversification.

In Spain, 47% of the production is intended for consumption in fresh (and 41% for processing). 42% of the amount intended for consumption in fresh is traded in the domestic market. The remaining 5% is exported to France, Italy and England.

6,878,000 t of peas are produced world-wide every year. The surface used world-wide for its cultivation is of 833,000 ha. The world-wide production is distributed by continents as follows:

ContinentThousand tons
Africa273
Asia3,260
Europe1,843
North America1,193
Oceania149
South America160
Total6,878

Source: FAO Production Yearbook (1998)

The main producing countries are:

CountryThousand tons
India2,000F*
The USA1,079F
China1,021F
France450F
UK449F
Hungary170
Italy130F
Egypt125F
The Netherlands100F
Australia97F

Source: FAO Production Yearbook (1998)
(*) F: Value estimated by the FAO

The main producing country is India (2,000,000 t) and Spain is below the ten first countries, totalling 63,000 t.

As guiding data, the following table shows the imports in fresh of the United Kingdom in 1999:

CountryTons
France120
Guatemala1,388
Italy936
Kenya6,587
The Netherlands68
Spain388
Zambia864
Zimbabwe2,034
Rest of the world534
Total UK imports12,919

Source: Fresh Produce Desk Book (2001)

In 1999, the United Kingdom imported 388 tons from Spain, totalling 598 dollars. Kenya was the country from which the UK imported the largest amount of peas, followed by Zimbabwe.

The United Kingdom imports in 1999 amounted to 23,309 dollars.

According to Fresh Produce Desk Book (2001) the United Kingdom exported, during the same year, 3,753 tons amounting to 1,244 dollars. 2,743 tons were exported to Europe and the remaining 1,010 tons outside Europe. The amount exported to Europe totalled 866 dollars and the rest represented 378 dollars.

In Spain, the total surface devoted to pea cultivation is 5,947 ha and the production estimated in 1999 by communities was the following:

AreaHectaresTons
Aragón2,0959,242
Castilla-La Mancha1,5568,201
La Rioja1,1857,565
Andalucía1,1117,292
TOTAL5,94732,300

Source: La Horticultura Española (2001) Sech.
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