Pulses Scenario in India
27th Jan, 2021
- Pulses are a crucial element in the food basket of predominantly vegetarian population in our country to ensure nutritional security.
- These are the relatively most inexpensive source of proteins and bestow immense positive externalities to the environment enriching soil fertility and being a water efficient crop.
- Green revolution has significantly improved productivity and production of many crops. However, this increase has been comparatively lower in case of pulses.
- Production of pulses reached record levels of 231.3 LMT and 254.2 LMT during 2016-17 and 2017-18, respectively. However, fluctuation in production levels is still Witnessed.
- National Food Security Mission (NFSM) was launched in 2007-08to increase the production of rice, wheat and pulses through area expansion and productivity enhancement; restoring soil fertility and productivity; creating employment opportunities; and enhancing farm level economy.
- Procurement of rice, wheat and sugarcane at MSP/Fair and Remunerative Prices (FRP) may be rationalized keeping in view stability in their prices, self-sufficiency in production, ample buffer stocks. This is essential to enable shift towards less-water intensive crops and aligning cropping pattern towards nutrition rich diets which is in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and ensuring their availability at affordable prices.
- Price Stabilization Fund (PSF) scheme implemented by Department of Consumer Affairs is largely utilised towards creation and maintenance of buffer stock of pulses. These include 5 major pulses viz., Tur, Urad, Moong, Chana and Masur.
Significant price variations in pulses are observed on a year-on-compared to relatively milder alternating movement between harvesting and lean season within a year. This may be attributed to the fact that lagged effect of both instances of bumper production as well as decline in production on prices are often observed.
Key emphasis should be laid down in stabilising domestic production levels in a sustainable manner with a balance between price and non-price interventions ensuring adequate incentives to the farmer.
Scientific storage and its decentralisation is key infrastructure to ensure smooth availability round the year and stability in prices.