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Growth in Lentil Production in India

By Amigos IAS

Why is it in the news?

  • India’s masur (lentil) production is expected to reach a record 1.6 million tonnes in 2023-24.
  • The current rabi season witnesses an increase in masur acreage to 1.94 million hectares, compared to 1.83 million hectares in the previous year.

Pulses in India

  • India holds a significant position globally as the largest producer (25%), consumer (27%), and importer (14%) of pulses.
  • Pulses occupy around 20% of the total area under food grains and contribute 7-10% to the overall foodgrains production.
  • Rabi pulses contribute more than 60% of the total pulse production.
  • Gram is the dominant pulse, constituting approximately 40% of total production, followed by Tur/Arhar (15-20%) and Urad/Black Matpe, and Moong (8-10% each).
  • High productivity regions include Punjab, Haryana, Western Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal delta region, coastal Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, coastal and eastern Karnataka, and parts of Maharashtra.

Challenges Leading to Low Production:

  • Traditional neglect of pulses due to yield instability.
  • Pulses often grown in rain-fed, marginal lands with minimal focus on pest and nutrient management.
  • Green Revolution’s emphasis on rice and wheat led to the marginalization of pulses, resulting in reduced productivity and land degradation.
  • Lack of technological advances and low adoption of high-yielding varieties (HYV)
  • Farmers perceive pulses as having a lower cost-benefit ratio compared to crops like wheat and rice.
  • Post-harvest losses during storage, attributed to excessive moisture and pest attacks, particularly by the pulse beetle.

Government Initiatives to Boost Production

  • National Food Security Mission (NFSM)-Pulses aims at increasing production through area expansion and productivity enhancement across districts.
  • The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) conducts basic and strategic research on pulses, collaborating with State Agricultural Universities for location-specific high-yielding varieties.
  • PM-AASHA, an umbrella scheme, includes Price Support Scheme (PSS), Price Deficiency Payment Scheme (PDPS), and Private Procurement Stockist Scheme (PPSS) to ensure Minimum Support Price (MSP) for oilseeds, pulses, and copra.
  • Integrated scheme of Oilseeds, Pulses, Oil Palm, and Maize (ISOPOM) launched in 14 major pulses-growing states.
  • Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojna supports Pulses Development Programmes at the state level.

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