ndia is set to achieve self sufficiency in pulses in FY 2018-19, wth a high kharif output and likelihood of record rabi season production due to an all-time high acreage and favourable agro climatic condition.
Until last year, that is 2016-17, India remained heavily dependent on import of pulses of different varieties, including Chick Peas from Australia, Tur from Myanmar and other varieties from Canada and a number of non-consuming but large-growing African countries.
Apex industry body, India Pulses and Grains Association (IPGA), puts India’s import at around 5.7 million tonnes of pulses during FY2017, almost similar to 5.8 million tonnes imported during the previous financial year.
According to the Directorate General of Commercial Intelligence and Statistics (DGCIS), India has imported pulses worth $2.47 billion for the period between April and November 2017 to meet its growing consumer demand. During financial year 2016-17, India had set a record in imported pulses at $4.24 billion, up from $3.90 billion the previous year.
“Pulses output during the kharif 2017 season is estimated at 8.71 million tonnes, slightly lower than last year’s level of 9.42 million tonnes. With increase in acreage and better seed distribution and agro climatic condition, we are estimating total acreage at 16-16.5 million hectares, due to which about 2.5-3 million tonnes of additional pulses during rabi 2017 season, which would be available for marketing in FY 2018-19. This means total pulses availability in India would be around 24-25 million tonnes, over and above nearly two million tonnes of buffer stock available with the Food Corporation of India (FCI). So, India does not need to import pulses. Some specific varieties might be compensated with exports of the varieties grown largely in India,” said a senior government official.
With a steady growth of 4-5 per cent, India requires around 24 million tonnes of pulses a year to fulfill its demand.