Agri Business

Cultivate pulses in rice fallow lands: CACP

KV Kurmanath Hyderabad | Updated on July 19, 2019 Published on July 19, 2019

The Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP) has called for conversion of rice fallow lands for pulses production to facilitate better income for farmers.

It said that about 8.5 million hectares of rice fallows in different parts of the country can be used for pulses. Chhattisgarh and Odisha have about 3 million hectares of such land and Assam and West Bengal have one million hectares each.

Pulses through PDS mooted

It felt that there was a need to improve productivity and reduce crop yield fluctuations by introducing better varieties and technologies. It wanted the governments to include pulses in the public distribution system and other welfare schemes.

“Promoting cultivation of pulses can help the country overcome the problem of malnutrition, improve soil fertility by nitrogen fixation and provide better incomes to farmers,” it said.

“Instead of promoting exports of water-intensive crops such as rice and sugarcane, it is important to promote production of pulses by providing better quality seeds and appropriate price support,” the CACP observed.

“Pulses have high volatility in production and productivity as these crops are grown in rainfed areas. This calls for introduction of drought tolerant varieties and technologies,” it added.

In its annual report for the Kharif marketing season 2019-20, the CACP said the country would see a record production of 25.23 million tonnes of pulses in 2017-18, about 2 mt more than the production in the previous year. “This has helped in reducing the imports to 1.8 mt during April-December 2018 from 5 mt in the same period previous year,” it said.

Pulses pricing

It, however, pointed out that low market prices ruled below the MSPs, resulting in the reduction of acreage of pulses such as tur by about 17 per cent in 2017-18.

The CACP suggested that stocks held by NAFED (National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India) should not be sold below the economic cost as it will discourage industry and trade from procuring during the marketing season.

Published on July 19, 2019
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