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Growth in Lentil Production in India  |

Growth in Lentil Production in India 

In Context

∙ India’s masur (lentil) production is estimated to touch an all-time high of 1.6 million tonnes in 2023-24.

About

∙ The total masur acreage has increased to 1.94 million hectare in the ongoing rabi season, when compared to 1.83 million hectare in the year-ago period.

∙ Despite being the world’s largest producer and consumer of pulses, India imports certain pulses, including masur and tur, to meet domestic shortages.

Production of Pulses in India

∙ India is the largest producer (25% of global production), consumer (27% of world consumption) and importer (14%) of pulses in the world.

∙ Pulses account for around 20 percent of the area under food grains and contribute around 7-10 percent of the total foodgrains production in the country.

∙ Though pulses are grown in both Kharif and Rabi seasons, Rabi pulses contribute more than 60 percent of the total production.

∙ Gram is the most dominant pulse having a share of around 40 percent in the total production followed by Tur/Arhar at 15 to 20 percent and Urad/Black Matpe and Moong at around 8-10 percent each.

∙ The main regions with high productivity are Punjab, Haryana, Western Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal delta region, coastal Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, coastal and eastern Karnataka and some parts of Maharashtra.

Reasons for Low Production in India

∙ Low Productivity: Pulses have traditionally been a neglected crop because of the instability of its yields.

∙ Residual Crop: Pulses in India are considered a residual crop and grown under rain-fed conditions in marginal/less fertile lands, with very little focus on pest and nutrient management.

∙ With the advent of the Green Revolution, which promoted rice and wheat using external inputs and modern varieties of seeds, pulses were pushed to the marginal lands. This resulted in decline in productivity and land degradation.

∙ Lack of Technological Advances: There has been no technology breakthrough in any of the pulses crops.

∙ Less Beneficial: Farmers perceive pulses as having a lower cost benefit ratio vis-à-vis other crops like wheat and rice.

∙ Penetration and adoption of high yielding varieties (HYV) seeds are also low.

∙ Post Harvest Losses: There are post-harvest losses during storage, due to excessive moisture and attack by stored grain pests especially the pulse beetle

Measures Taken By the Government to Increase Production

∙ National Food Security Mission: The Department of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare is implementing the National Food Security Mission (NFSM)-Pulses with the objectives of increasing production through area expansion and productivity enhancement in all the districts.

∙ Research and Development: In order to increase the productivity potential of pulses crops in the country, the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) is undertaking basic and strategic research on these crops and applied research in collaboration with State Agricultural Universities for developing location-specific high yielding varieties.

∙ PM-AASHA: To ensure remunerative prices to farmers, Government implements an umbrella scheme PM-AASHA comprising Price Support Scheme (PSS), Price Deficiency Payment Scheme (PDPS) and Private Procurement Stockist Scheme (PPSS) in order to ensure Minimum Support Price (MSP) to farmers for their produce of notified oilseeds, pulses and copra.

∙ Integrated scheme of Oilseeds, Pulses, Oil Palm and Maize (ISOPOM) was launched in 14 major pulses growing states.

∙ Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojna was launched under which states can undertake Pulses Development Programmes.

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