Pulses are an essential source of food in India. Agro products like pulses and lentils are rich in proteins, vitamins and minerals. They are a significant part of our diet. Since old times, our Indian culture has grown in abundance. We are a world leader in the production of pulses and have integrated the process of farming. The Indian farmers grow pulses from their seeds and use a system that is sustainable for growing pulses.
However, due to the Green Revolution, the cultivation of rice and wheat was done extensively. And the growth of pulses has been pushed back in marginal amounts, which decreased the productivity of pulses significantly. Even in the current times, pulses are grown in the frontier lands with inadequate irrigation systems that have affected the production of agro products. India has a share of the total food grain production pulse, about 7-10% only.
According to the stats, India is the largest producer of pulses globally, with a 25% contribution. And the consumption and import stats of pulses in the world are 27% and 14% respectively (sources). Pulses are grown in the Kharif and rabi seasons of the year. The pulses harvested in the rainy season are of the best quality and majorly forms part of the total production.
The yield of pulses requires weather conditions, high-quality soil and a better irrigation system. In the year 2019-2020, the production of agro products was good and growing. But due to the nationwide lockdown, the Rabi season was disturbed, and farmers saw a gap in the production of pulses altogether. There is a yield gap of almost 50% compared to the data received in 2019-20.
The pulses production has been affected because the pulses are less desirable crops for the farmers. Reasons like-
- Less initiative for the Government for pulses
- Rate appreciation
- Lack of favourable conditions for growing pulses
- Less liberal laws for growing pulses as compared to wheat and rice
Due to the issues mentioned above, the farmers don’t find pulses an attractive financial opportunity. To make pulses production better in our country, the farmers are needed to educate and facilitate the wet and dry irrigation system and profitable crop rotation system.
The farmers should make the effort to offer the machines and equipment for threshing and drying of the pulses. They can also use the services from external agencies, which will help them grow and promote pulses production.
Long Term Plans
For making pulses production an attractive opportunity for the farmers. I need extra effort from the Government. The buying price from the Government is fixed and high for pulses and lentils, which has not been famous like wheat and rice. However, if there are revival and extension of plans for the betterment of the farmers with pulses agro products production, India will be benefited. Rather than selling their produce to the external mediators, pulses can be sold to Government agencies who offer better prices.
With the proper propagation of pulses growth production, there could be a regulated market for pulses like chickpeas, grams and lentils. Since India is a source for the consumption of pulses, we can grow our own pulses and save on imports. Making investments in tech startups supporting the production of pulses and agro products for further use can be helpful. Active participation from the Government can be helpful.
With the increase in the production of pulses and agro products, we also need a better warehousing system for the yield. Government warehouses can accommodate larger quantities of pulses. But if the arrangements are made better, we can store up to 33% of the pulses in the country warehouse.
It is possible to motivate farmers by providing them with Pulse projections. By self-producing pulses in the country, the country can save on imports and create employment opportunities.