Import of pulses in India has fallen drastically from 6 million tonnes to 2.5 million tons in the past two years. The production of pulses in India has increased by 55% in 3 years. According to the data published by Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority(APEDA), India’s production of pulses was 16.3 million ton in FY 2015-16 which increase to 25.42 million tons in 2017-18 and 23.4 million tons in 2018-19.
Incentives Provided by the Government
Government has provided various scheme to encourage farmers to grow pulses. With schemes such as Integrated Scheme on pulses, palm oil and maize, National Food Security Mission has encouraged farmers to produce pulses. The Increase in minimum support price (MSP) also helped in boosting the production of pulses.
Restriction on Import
Government has restricted the import of pulses in recent years. In 2019, the government announced that only dal millers will be allowed to import pulses and no traders have been given permission. Therefore, the imports are expected to decrease by 68% in 2019-20.
Estimated import of pulses for FY 2019-20 is at 8,25,000 tons. However, the government has issued pulses import license of 6,50,000 tons till date.
Signs of India becoming Self-Sufficient
According to data provided by APEDA, India has produced 23.22 MT pulses in 2018-19, and the estimated consumption of pulses in India is around 24 MT. Therefore, it is a clear indication that India is on the verge of reaching self sufficient status in pulses. In addition, Food Corporation of India (FCI), holds 2 million tons of pulses stock.
Indian government has signed a memorandum with Mozambique Government for a period of 5 years in 2015. Under this memorandum India is bound to import around 7,50,000 tons of pulses over 5 years.
Despite the convincing figures, the government and dealers continue to import pulses from other countries and private firms. Estimated import of pulses for FY 2019-20 is at 8,25,000 tons. However, the government has issued pulses import license of 6,50,000 tons till date.
There is no doubt that India is becoming self sufficient in producing pulses. The government needs to encourage farmers to produce pulses and restrict import.