Agri Business

Govt to release new arhar variety in January to boost output

Press Trust of India New Delhi | Updated on January 16, 2018 Published on October 31, 2016


The Central government today said it will release early maturing arhar dal variety in January for commercial cultivation that will help achieve self-sufficiency in pulses over the next three years.

Pulses production in India is lower than the demand of 23-24 million tonnes (mt). The output had fallen in the last two years due to the drought which sent the prices through the roof, forcing the government to take several measures to check inflation in pulses.

“We will put this new arhar variety (Pusa 16) for commercial use soon. Once we put for commercial use, certainly it will have great impact,” Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told reporters after visiting the experimental plot of new arhar variety in the IARI complex here. He hoped that the new arhar variety will bring benefit to the whole country.

Stating that there has been special concern about pulses in the government in last two years, Jaitley said: “The reason being that it is the main protein in our diet. We are not only the largest producer but also the biggest consumer and importer. So, there is shortage here.”

He said the Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian has been suggesting that the government incentivise pulses cultivation by higher MSP and bonus.

“Even Agriculture Ministry was pressing for this. We see the result of this and we have seen increase in production. It is evident this year as well,” Jaitley said.

On Pusa 16, Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh said, “this new variety will be released for commercial cultivation in January and will be available for sowing in the kharif 2017 season. This will help make the country self-sufficient in next three years.”

The new variety gets matured in four months instead of 6-9 months in case of existing pulses variety. It is a semi-dwarf variety suitable for combine harvesting. Its yield levels are in the range of 15-20 quintals per hectare, which is same as the existing varieties.

The country’s pulses output is estimated to increase to 20 mt in 2016-17 crop year (July-June) on account of good monsoon after two drought years. But the production is still lower than domestic demand of 23-24 mt.

Pulses production fell to 16.47 mt in 2015-16 crop year from 17.15 mt in the previous year.

Published on October 31, 2016
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