UPSC Prelims 2020 Important topics: Pulse Production in India

Pulse Production in India

Pulses are the vital source of proteins, vitamins and minerals. Pulses are popularly known as the poor man’s meat and rich man’s vegetables. India is the world leader in production, consumer and importer of the pulses. India imports 2-3 million tonnes of pulses during 2010-11. By 2050 we will able to sustain our production and turned to the net exporter for pulses if everything goes as per plan. But presently the scenario is somehow challenging due to many factors.

UPSC Prelims 2020 Important topics: Pulse Production in India

Several pulse crops are grown in India and the world. Among the crops, major ones are Gram, Pigeonpea, Lentil, Fieldpeas etc. According to history, the origin of Gram is in South West Asia – probably Afghanistan and Persia, Pigeonpea in Africa, Lentil in Turkey to South Iran and Fieldpeas in Mediterranean Region of Southern Europe and Western Asia.

Area, Production and Yield of Major Pulse Crops Growing States in India

There was 239 Lakh ha area in India at triennium ending 2010-11, which was mainly contributed by Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh. From this area, 158 Lakh tonnes production of the pulse was received. Madhya Pradesh is India’s largest pulse producing state, which accounts for 23% of total pulse production in the country. Madhya Pradesh is followed by Uttar Pradesh (18%), Maharashtra (14%), Rajasthan (11%) and Andhra Pradesh (9%). In 2013-14, Madhya Pradesh produced 4.3 million tonnes of pulses, which is expected to be 3.3 million tonnes in 2014- 15. We note here that India is the largest producer of pulses in the world, yet, we have to import 3-4 million tonnes of pulses every year to meet the demand of 19 million tonnes.

There are some challenges with the production of pulses in India due to lack of management structure and many other causes. Some causes are mentioned below:


  • In India, pulses are mainly grown in a rain-fed area with unstable and uncertain rainfall. This increases the risk of crop failure.
  • Poor marketing structure and linkage also is one of the main constraints to increase their production.
  • The decreasing size of landholding is also accelerating these challenges.
  • The inefficient structuring and poor management of storage facilities a big challenge to increase the pulses production.
  • The procurement prices for pulses are very low this becomes a disincentive for farmers to grow pulses.
  • Lack of credit insurance and credit facilities to the farmers also bring insecurity in them to produce pulses.
  • Lack of adequate researches in the agricultural field is a big challenge for agriculture.
  • The lack of irrigation facilities in the different areas and extra dependency on monsoon bring the unsure mentality in the farmer related to profit.
  • The inadequate structuring of Minimum Support Price (MSP) also a big flaw in the agriculture system.

These are the many challenges in the production of pulses.

Way Forward

  • The government should adopt some qualitative measures and some other research works in the agriculture field that could increase the pulse production in India.
  • The government should provide them with credit facilities that can help them to purchase advanced tools for growing their production.
  • The government should adopt the adequate structuring of Minimum Support Price that makes pulses production attractive and beneficial.
  • The farmers should adopt multiple cropping systems and produce pest-resistant crops in the field.
  • The conservation of water and water harvesting technique is the best incentive to accelerate pulses production in India.
  • The government should make some appropriate laws and stop the doing of fragmentation of land. The area expansion for agriculture production is also a good incentive for the farmers.
  • The introduction of e-NAM by the government is a good incentive to increase the production of pulses which is an online portal for the farmers to know about the highest price of their production.
  • The recent announcement by NITI Aayog to create a buffer stock for pulses is a welcome step. Apart from creating a buffer, if pulses are included in the Public Distribution System (PDS. It would improve the food and nutrition security of India. Therefore, a need-based buffer stock with accountability for proper management is needed to incur no wastage.
  • To stabilize prices in the long run, we need to increase domestic production by eliminating the risks farmers experience while growing pulses.

These are some steps which can create a difference in the pulses production and increase their production in the future. The increasing level of production can stop the import of the pulses from the foreign countries which is responsible for fiscal deficit and loss forex. But with these all things we should develop responsible nature in us and educate our farmers about the organic and eco-friendly agriculture production. We should aware them about the control of stable burning and control the use of limited pesticides and fertilisers in their production and persuade them to adopt green agriculture

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