Pulses production has been hovering around 13 -15 million tonnes during last decade, while annual domestic demand has risen to 18-19 million tonnes. During 2010- 11, the production of pulses in India, estimated at 17.29 million tonnes, is all-time record. The previous pulses production record was 14.91 million tonnes during the year 2003-04. Among kharif pulses (7.3 million tones), pigeonpea (3.15 million tonnes) and blackgram (1.82 million tonnes) production are slated to hit all time higher. It is also estimated that there will be bumper harvest of rabi pulses this year. The all time high production record of 17.29 miiliion tones could be possible primarily due to availability of quality seeds to pulse growers. ICAR has made sincere efforts in producing required quantity of breeder seeds of major pulse crops. During 2007-08, ICAR and State Agricultural Universities have produced 11,485 q breeder seed of all pulses which was subsequently converted into certified seeds and made available to farmers for growing crops. During 2008-09, the country has produced 13,335 q breeder seed which is also all time higher. Apart from availability of quality seeds of high yielding varieties, the strong technology back-up, favourable monsoon, increase in minimum support prices and effective government programmes helped for increasing production of pulses in the country.
ICAR has also conducted 6000 demonstrations on farmers’ fields to demonstrate the potential of available technologies. Success of summer mungbean has been well documented and appreciated at various levels. The results of successful demonstrations provided enough confidence on the existing technologies to farmers, extension workers, state agencies and planners. The Government of India has also launched a massive programme on 60,000 pulses and oilseeds villages. This also encouraged farmers to grow more pulses.
Pulses remained in the main focus while increasing minimum support price. For example, increase in MSP for pigeonpea was Rs. 700/q i.e., 33% increase. This also helped in increase in area under kharif pulse crops. In addition, the favourable monsoon during kharif 2010 has helped in boosting the production of kharif pulses. There was 27% increase in pigeonpea production during kharif 2010 over the previous year. Good monsoon during kharif provided enough moisture to raise good rabi crops. The record production will drastically cut down our dependence on imports to meet the shortfall to domestic demand.
Under NFSM-pulses programme, Government of India has provided enough support for breeder and quality seed production as well as training to extension workers and farmers. During the last year 240 extension personnel and 2628 farmers of different pulses growing states were trained on improved pulses production and protection technologies. These efforts need to be further strengthened to achieve self-sufficiency in pulses.
(Source: Indian Institute of Pulses Research, Kanpur)