UP targets self-sufficiency in pulses’ production in 3-4 yrs

| | Lucknow
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UP targets self-sufficiency in pulses’ production in 3-4 yrs

Tuesday, 09 July 2024 | PNS | Lucknow

The Uttar Pradesh government headed by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath targets self-sufficiency in the production of pulses in the next three to four years.

Notably, UP has witnessed a record 36 per cent increase in the production of pulses in 2023-24 compared 2016-17, rising from 2.394 million metric tons to 3.255 million metric tons.

To further increase the area under pulse cultivation and enhance yield per hectare, the Yogi government is providing comprehensive assistance to farmers with support from the Central government.

Besides, the Yogi government has prepared an action plan focusing on tur, urad, and moong to boost the production of pulses in the state. As part of this initiative, 27,200 hectares of crop demonstrations will be conducted under the National Food Security Mission Scheme.

Additionally, targets have been set to distribute 31,553 quintals of seeds and produce 27,356 quintals of certified seeds under the Pulses National Food Security Mission Scheme. Fourteen seed hubs have also been established to produce 21,000 quintals of seeds, strengthening the system.

Like last year, mini kits of other pulse crops, such as moong and urad, will also be distributed to the farmers. The government has reiterated its commitment to purchasing the pulses from farmers at the minimum support price and setting the MSP for these crops higher than other crops.

The government’s strategy includes developing model pulse villages in the strategically significant Bundelkhand districts, which are renowned for their pulse production. These districts include Banda, Mahoba, Jalaun, Chitrakoot, and Lalitpur.

It is noteworthy that UP is India’s largest producer and consumer of pulses. However, the state currently produces only half of its consumption needs.

The strategy aims to increase the yield per hectare from 14 quintals to 16 quintals within the stipulated time frame, targeting a total yield of 3 million tons. Additionally, approximately 175,000 hectares of pulse crops are planned.

To achieve this, the government will provide seeds of improved and high-yielding varieties of traditional pulse crops, with demonstrations by progressive farmers. A large number of free seed mini kits will also be distributed to farmers, a process that is already ongoing. Furthermore, the focus will be on crops like moong and urad, which have shorter maturation periods. Mixed cropping of these pulses will also be promoted.

Additionally, the government guarantees increased production through sprinkler irrigation systems on uneven land, enhanced yields by employing the furrow and ridge farming method, and purchases at the minimum support price.

Having achieved record grain production, the government is now placing a significant emphasis on nutritional security, a step beyond mere food security.

In this initiative, pulse crops will be pivotal. Pulses, being the primary source of protein for the general population, especially vegetarians, are of utmost importance.

Despite their lower production relative to consumption, pulse prices often spike, making headlines every few years. This can make pulses less accessible to the average person and disappear from the plates of the poor.

As a crucial protein source, pulses are indispensable for the health of the general populace, particularly the poor. Furthermore, pulse crops, with their nitrogen-fixing properties, are beneficial for soil health.

It is worth mentioning here that India is the world’s largest producer, consumer and importer of pulses whereas UP has the highest consumption share and is the country’s most populous state.

Consequently, pulse-producing countries like Canada, Australia, the United States, Turkey and Myanmar closely monitor India’s and UP’s production and six-month storage levels.

When production is low, the significant demand in India causes pulse prices to rise in the international market. The exchange rate between the dollar and the rupee also greatly impacts this; imports become more expensive if the dollar is strong against the rupee.

Thus, India has to spend valuable foreign currency on pulse imports. Achieving self-sufficiency in pulse production in UP would save foreign currency.

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