After wheat and rice, the Indian government is all set up to boost pulses production. India is on course to become self-sufficient in pulses production as import estimates fall.
Self-Sufficiency in Pulses Production
At an event on World Pulses Day in February, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar stated that India is on a track to become self-sufficient in pulses. The government is taking effective measures to support the production of pulses not only to meet domestic demand but also the global demand.
Shortage in Output
The country produced around 23.40 million in 2018-19. However, the output did not meet the nations’ demand for pulses for 26-27 million tonnes and hence the rest was met by imports. In addition, the country has set a target to produce 26.30 million tonnes of pulses this year.
Need for Increasing Pulses Production
On an event organized by NAFED and Dubai-based non-profit body Global Pulses Confederation (GPC), Tomar also launched an organic range of pulses. Experts stated that India’s yield of pulses is even less than the pre-Green Revolution period which is a matter of concern. Further, climate change challenges call for more production of pulses. Besides, it is essential to provide access to protein-rich food, which is pulses in India, to every individual to eliminate the deficiency of nutrients.
On the other side, the government has put a restriction on the import of pulses, keeping in mind the interest of farmers. It has allocated lesser import quotas and hence the import of pulses is expected to fall by 50% ( 15 lakh tonnes) in 2020-21. Further, Canada, the largest pulses supplier to India, has advised India to be transparent in trade policies. This has come after India put a restriction on pulses imports to protect domestic producers. According to the quotas, traders are allowed to import only a million tonnes of pulses or government set limits.
Government to Continue Procurement
According to NAFED cooperative, India has 3.4 million tonnes of pulses as buffer stock. Further, the government will continue procurement to ensure that farmers get remunerative prices at MSP. The government plans to buy more Rabi crop chickpeas as they already suffer from a low price due to the expectation of bumper harvest.
In all, the government is making efforts to strike a balance between farmers’ and consumers’ interests.