Cultivated lentil (Lens culinaris), an annual legume crop, have been grown as an important food source for over 8000 years. They come in two main varieties: macrosperma (with large seeds), and microsperma (with small seeds). Depending on the variety and breed, however, lentil seeds can range in color from red-orange, to yellow, green, brown, or black.
Lentil seeds provide high levels of protein and, when consumed in combination with cereals, they provide adequate amounts of essential amino acids for the human diet. Their relatively short cooking time provides an additional advantage. Lentil production is equally beneficial for producers, as lentil have high tolerance for extreme environmental conditions such as drought and hot temperatures, and can be grown in semiarid regions without irrigation. Moreover, the crop can be grown in rotation with cereal crops to reduce soil erosion, improve disease and weed control, and reduce demand for nitrogen fertilizer.
They are cultivated and consumed thought the world, with Canada, Turkey and India being the top producers. As for Ukraine until the mid-twentieth century, it has been one of the largest producers and consumers of lentils in the world. Bat in the second part of twentieth century production and uses of lentil in Ukraine were heavily diminished.
On the last time the things start improving. As lentil is well adapted for the climatic condition of Ukraine and has a relatively high yield up to 2000 kg/ha. This makes it quite lucrative for local farmers.
Now in Ukraine is grown about 10,000 Ha of lentils. Lentil crops are placed in small quantities in all areas of the Steppe zone. (Kharkiv, Dnipropetrovsk, Odessa, Zaporozhye, Poltava). Green lentils of local breeding,(Institute of Agriculture, steppe zone of Ukraine) is mainly grown. Some areas also occupy varieties imported from other countries mainly from Canada. Recently, begin to grow area under red lentils. The most of lentils is grown for domestic needs; a small proportion is exported to Arab countries, Europe and Russia.