Government aims to make India a surplus country in terms of pulses production: Narendra Singh Tomar

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Inaugurating the UN World Pulses Day celebrations in New Delhi, Union Minister for Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar said that initiatives of the Government in increasing pulses production in the country yielded positive results and Government is committed to provide remunerative prices to farmers for the produce, a release by Press Information Bureau said.

Government’s aim is to make India a surplus country in terms of pulses production. The Minister added that Government’s primary focus given to the sector is seen from the budgetary allocations made for the Agriculture and Rural Development sectors which is about Rs. 3 lakh crore. While the Agriculture sector budget was Rs.27 thousand crore couple of years ago, the Government has allocated over Rs. 1.5 lakh crore in FY 2020-21, he added.

Tomar said after having achieved surplus foodgrains production, the country has turned self-sufficient in Pulses cultivation since 2016-17 with the combined efforts of all stakeholders following the directions of the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. In the crop year 2018-19 India produced 22 million tonnes of Pulses and for the next year a target of 26.30 million tonnes is projected.

After wheat and rice, the government has targeted to make India surplus in pulses, catering to demand from other countries. However, the ambitious target can be achieved when the productivity of pulses is raised, the minister added. Stating that India is almost on the path to become self-sufficient in pulses, Tomar said, “As of now, maximum of the domestic requirement is being met in India itself. We will further boost pulses production and will also help in meeting the global demand.”

The country had produced 23.4 million tonne of pulses during 2018-19 crop year (July-June), against annual domestic demand of about 27 million tonne. Production of pulses was recorded 25.4 million tonne in 2017-18 and the output dropped last year due to crop damage in Maharashtra and Karnataka.

Speaking at the conference, Niti Aayog member Ramesh Chand said there is a need to improve yield level of pulses which at present is lower than pre-Green Revolution days of 1965. He suggested strengthening the research and development for improving productivity, reorientation of trade policies and increase in private investment to achieve the target. Identification of pulses that suit different crop sequence will also help in raising output, Chand said, adding that more number of people are becoming vegan across the world.

Shekhar Ghosh is consulting editor, Indoasiancommodities.com. He has edited and written for publications like Business India, Business Standard, Business Today, Outlook and many other international publications. He can be reached at shekhar.ghosh@indoasiancommodities.in.

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