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India Plans Boost in Arhar and Urad Dal Production to Tackle Pulse Shortage: Media Reports

15 Jun 2024 8:16 am
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Mumbai, 14 Jun (Commoditiescontrol): According to media reports, in a decisive move to tackle India's pulse shortage, the Ministry of Agriculture has laid out a comprehensive plan under its 100-day agenda to significantly increase the production of Arhar (pigeon peas) and Urad (black gram) dals. High-level discussions have centered on policies aimed at boosting the yield of these essential pulses, as reported by Jagaran newspaper.

Efforts are already underway to ensure sufficient supplies to meet current demand. Over the past decade, pulse production has increased by 60 percent. However, due to a substantial shortfall in pulses and oilseeds, the government is now considering a procurement guarantee scheme.

Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi's leadership, the third consecutive NDA government is prioritizing self-sufficiency in pulses. While imports will continue to meet immediate needs, the long-term strategy focuses on expanding cultivation areas and enhancing productivity. Despite being the world's largest producer, consumer, and importer of pulses, India imports approximately 2 to 2.6 million tonnes annually to meet domestic demand.
Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has taken on the challenge of addressing the pulse and oilseed deficit since assuming office. Engaged in continuous discussions with officials, Chouhan recognizes the high demand for Arhar dal. The ministry plans to encourage farmers to shift from traditional rice and wheat farming to pulse cultivation. Ensuring the purchase of the entire yield at the minimum support price (MSP) is expected to motivate farmers to adopt pulse farming.
Additionally, the government is exploring incentives to reduce imports and considering contract farming options in other countries. Expectations are high for Chouhan, given his successful track record in the agricultural sector as the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh.

According to sources, a Pulse and Oilseed Production Promotion Scheme is already in place. Central agencies like NCCF, NAFED, and cooperative institutions will be mobilized for efficient procurement. Farmers will also have the freedom to sell their produce in the open market. To boost productivity, the government will provide farmers with high-quality seeds.
Efforts to meet current pulse demands are ongoing, with an estimated production of 24.5 million tonnes this year, including 3.385 million tonnes of Arhar. While the production of chickpeas and other pulses has increased rapidly, significant efforts are still required for Arhar and Urad. Consequently, the focus is on expanding the cultivation area for these pulses. Farmers are being registered for Arhar procurement even before sowing the seeds, and similar measures are being considered for other pulses.
Department of Consumer Affairs, has simplified import regulations and resolved currency issues with Myanmar. Domestically, strict actions have been ordered against those involved in speculative trading. Importers, mill owners, stockists, and retailers are required to honestly report their stock levels. It is now mandatory to provide information on the stock of imported yellow peas and other pulses on the ministry's portal by Friday evening every week.

Mumbai, 14 Jun (Commoditiescontrol):

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