Dry seeds are extracted from the plants of the Leguminosae family and those dry seeds are known as pulses. Because Indian Pulses (cereals) are high in proteins and minerals, they are especially important in the diet of vegetarians.
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reported that India is the largest consumer and producer of pulses in the world. The gram (Chana Dal) is the most produced dal in the country which accounts for 43% of the total production of the country. Other cereals include tur (15%), urad (13.85%), and green gram (Mung Bean) 11.14.
Moreover, a large portion of cereals(pulses) in production comes from Madhya Pradesh, accounting for 32.14% of the total production. Rajasthan (13.42%), Maharashtra (13.09%), and Uttar Pradesh (8.75%) are some of the other pulses-producing states.
However, the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) falls short of meeting the growing demand of the large domestic population. Thus, India also imports large quantities of pulses and is a leading importer. In 2019, India accounted for 16.4% of total pulses imports, followed by China (8.4%) and Bangladesh (5.9%). However, recent trends in productivity growth have been encouraging.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare released some data and according to that the annual production of pulses in 2010-16 was less than 20 million tonnes. However, since 2016-17, the total production of pulses in India has regularly crossed the 20 million tonne mark.
The production of grams was 7.33 million tonnes in 2014-15 and 11.35 million tonnes in 2019-20. Similarly, green gram (Mung Bean) production was 1.5 million tonnes in 2014-15, which increased to 2.46 million tonnes in 2019-20.
Pulses Production in India
Around 25% of the global production, consumed annually 27% of world consumption, and imports around 14% of pulses make India the largest producer, consumer, and importer in the world. Pulses cover around 20% of the area under food grains and it contributes around 10% of the total foodgrains production in the country. Although pulses are grown in both Kharif and rabi seasons, rabi pulses are the highest pulses grown in the season and it accounts for more than 60% of the total production.
Factors responsible for increasing production
In the year 2016, Arvind Subramanian, former Chief Economic Adviser of India released a report in which he recommended that government interventions including raising MSP (Minimum Support Price) and procurement would increase the production of pulses in India. According to the report, despite higher prices for pulses such as urad, farmers in India face low prices due to less bargaining power.
Thus, MSP (Minimum support price) will act as the minimum price level of pulses in the market. Moreover, effective procurement of pulses by the government along with affordable MSP will encourage farmers to produce more pulses. In case of low market prices, farmers can sell their produce to the government at a sufficiently high MSP.
Increasing production impact on trade
This increase in the production of pulses in the country has also impacted on trade. Pulses import bill has declined significantly in 2014-20. In 2016-17, import value was US $ 4.27 billion, while in 2019-20 it was US $ 1.48 billion. Pulses imports during 2020-21 (April-February) were slightly higher at the US $ 1.56 billion. Among the major pulses imported in 2019-20, lentils and pigeon peas accounted for 24.28% and 19.43% of imports, respectively.
The top exporters of pulses to India are Canada, Myanmar, and Russia, leading to a significant reduction in import bills in 2019-20 as compared to 2014-15. The cuts were the US $ 670 million for Canada, the US $ 469.78 million for Myanmar, and the US $ 132.77 million for Russia.
The annual export of pulses from India in 2014-20 was between US $ 200 million and US $ 300 million, which means that the production growth has not had an impact on exports. The export value in 2020-21 (April-February) was US $ 272 million. However, in 2014-20, exports to China and Bangladesh, major importers of pulses (excluding India) increased significantly by US $ 35.6 million and US $ 22.76 million.
Indian pulses market exports analysis
The pulses export from India has increased from almost 34 thousand tonnes to 124.88 thousand tonnes in 2016-17 in comparison to the year 1992. However, from 2010-11 to 2016-17, the trend of exports from India has been fluctuating in both value and volume. This can be attributed to various factors such as volatile production patterns in India and fluctuations in the foreign exchange market during this period.
Moreover, pulses exporting countries like Myanmar, Canada, and Australia do not have the upgraded facilities for exporting pulses, making India the largest exporter of pulses. This is because pulses are not widely consumed domestically in these countries and hence they have never tried to develop a domestic processing industry. As a result, India re-exports large quantities of pulses.
Pulses importing countries from India
In the fiscal year 2019, India exported approximately 228,000 metric tons of chickpeas, while only 9,000 metric tons of pigeon peas were exported. The highest share of pulses exported that year was 80 percent. The top pulses importing countries are given in the below table:
|1||U S A||34,843.53||36,018.53|
|4||U Arab Emts||29,931.39||16,733.85|
Top exporter of pulses from India
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