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India to become self-sufficient in pulses in FY19, on record rabi output

Kharif output also up, rabi record due to higher acreage, favourable agro climatic condition

Dilip Kumar Jha  |  Mumbai 

pulses

Saddled with until last year, India is set to achieve self sufficiency in in FY 2018-19, wth a high output and likelihood of record 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 of different varieties, including from Australia, from Myanmar and other varieties from Canada and a number of non-consuming but large-growing African countries. Apex industry body, India and Grains Association (IPGA), puts India’s import at around 5.7 million tonnes of 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 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 at $4.24 billion, up from $3.90 billion the previous year. output during the 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 during 2017 season, which would be available for marketing in FY 2018-19. This means total availability in India would be around 24-25 million tonnes, over and above nearly two million tonnes of buffer stock available with the (FCI). So, India does not need to import Some specific varieties might be compensated with exports of the varieties grown largely in India,” said a senior government official. India to become self-sufficient in pulses in FY19, on record rabi output With a steady growth of 4-5 per cent, India requires around 24 million tonnes of a year to fulfill its demand. Data compiled by the showed total acreage under jumped by nearly 5 per cent to hit the highest ever at 16.31 million ha which works out to about 15 per cent more than the average of the past five years. S Ganeshan, Advisor to (CCFI), said that looking at the lowest possible import of from India this year, the Australian and Canadian governments have advised their farmers not to grow this year. “We need to focus on market development before concentrating on boosting agricultural production,” he added. India, however, has not yet developed any such an advisory system to make farmers aware of their realisation before they sow any crop.

While many market forecasters pre-empt production and availability of any particular crop, they do not anticipate prices of farm produce. Even if they do make forecasts, they often prove wrong. “India is set to attain self-sufficiency in this year due to three primary factors: increase in acreage under pulses, aggressive replacement and availability of quality seeds during peak sowing season, and better irrigation facilities this year. Earlier, many areas with potential to grow had been left without sowing any crop. Since wheat is grown with increasing intensity of winter, semi-cold regions are left unsown with any crop. This year, the government has encouraged famers to grow in semi-cold regions like Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. This will result into higher output this year,” said Vijay Sardana, an agriculture expert. Apart from that, many growing areas such as Latur and Marathwada have better irrigation facilities this year. As a result, there is potential for higher yield, which will help achieve higher production this year. Importers like K C Bharatiya, however, see room for two million tonnes of import even with higher domestic production.

First Published: Fri, January 26 2018. 23:54 IST
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