Agri Business

Pulses may turn costlier on fall in output, imports

Our Bureau Kolkata | Updated on December 22, 2011 Published on December 22, 2011

pulses





The prices of pulses in the country may move up by 10-20 per cent over the next two to three months on account of a drop in production and a likely fall in imports this year. An estimated 5 per cent decline in rabi crop coupled with the 10 per cent decline in the kharif pulses is set to bring down the total production by about 7 per cent, Mr Bimal Kothari, vice-president, India Pulses and Grains Association (IPGA) said.

The production is likely to be 17 million tonnes in the crop year 2011-12, against the initial estimate of 18.5 million tonnes.

Rabi crop accounts for almost 60-70 per cent of the total production of pulses in the country (which stands roughly at about 18 million tonne on an average) while kharif crop accounts for the rest 35-40 per cent.

DECLINE IN KHARIF

“There has been a 10 per cent decline in kharif production this year on account of adverse weather conditions in some parts of the country. Another 5 per cent drop is expected in the rabi production (the harvesting for which will begin in the second week of January) thereby taking the total drop in production to about 7-8 per cent,” Mr Kothari told newspersons. He was here to promote the IPGA-organised Global Pulses Conclave 2012 to be held in Mumbai in February next year.

The country consumes about 21 million tonnes of pulses in a year. The shortfall in production is therefore offset by imports to the tune of about 3 million tonnes. With the rupee having depreciated by almost 20 per cent since August this year, importers might be discouraged to import pulses thereby creating a demand-supply mismatch. “The drop in production coupled with the lower imports will lead to the jacking up of prices,” said Mr Anurag Tulshan, member of the association.

The low yield of pulses production was the key issue confronting the industry at present. The yield per hectare of pulses in the country was about 600 kg a hectare while it was 1,900-2,000 kg a hectare in developed countries like Canada, Mr Kothari pointed out. “The production has remained stagnant for almost last three decades. The government should take initiatives to increase the yield and productivity of the crop.”

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Published on December 22, 2011
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