Inaugurating the UN World Pulses Day celebrations in New Delhi on 10 February, Union Minister for Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar said that initiatives of the Government in increasing pulses production in the countryyielded positive results and Government is committed to provide remunerative prices to farmers for the produce. Government’s aim is to make India a surplus country in terms of pulses production. The Minister added that Government’s primary focus given to the sector is seen from the budgetary allocations made for the Agriculture and Rural Development sectors which is about Rs. 3 lakh crore. While the Agriculture sector budget was Rs.27 thousand crore couple of years ago, the Government has allocated overRs. 1.5 lakh crore in FY 2020-21, he added.
Tomar said after having achieved surplus foodgrains production, the country has turned self-sufficient in Pulses cultivation since 2016-17 with the combined efforts of all stakeholders following the directions of the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. In the crop year 2018-19 India produced 22 million tonnes of Pulses and for the next year a target of 26.30 million tonnes is projected.
The Minister said that in order to ensure proper value for the produce, Government has raised the MSP by one-and-a-half times based on recommendations of the Swaminathan Committee. eNAMhas been strengthened with a view of One Nation One Market which has provided farmers access to better and wider market area ensuring a fair price. Already 585 Mandis have joined the eNAM portal and another 400 Mandis will be added soon. To strengthen the logistics associated with the Agriculture sector, a new Kisan Rail has been announced in this budget which will benefit both the Agriculture and Horticulture sectors.To promote exports of fruits from the North-East, the KisanUdanYojana has been announced in the budget, he added.
Congratulating NAFED for taking a lead in organizing the World Pulses Day event, Shri Tomar said the Government has procured 63 lakh tonnes of Pulses in the last five years, benefitting lakhs of farmers.
Addressing the event Dr. Ramesh Chand, Member NITIAayog said the biggest role in increasing pulses production is to be played by country’s R&D, as technology is the major driving force in increased production than the price factor. Citing cerealization of Indian diet post-Green Revolutionfor several nutritional issues in the country today,Dr. Chand said that inorder to address these concerns we need to look into the past of pulses cultivation and consumption patterns.
The United Nations General Assembly has designated February 10 of each year since 2019 as “UN World Pulses Day”. The event was organized this year by NAFED in collaboration with Global Pulse Confederation (GPC). The Tripura Minister for Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs, Shri. ManojKanti Deb, Global Pulses Confederation Chairperson Ms. Cindy Brown, NAFED Chairman Dr. Bijender Singh and representatives from various countries and officials of Central and State Governments and people associated with pulses production and sales were present in large numbers during the event.
On the occasion, the Minister launched the ‘Family pack of NAFED pulses and NAFED Organic pulses. A NAFED Coffee Table Book, recording its journey since inception on 2nd October, 1958 to the present and an FAO publication “Global Economy of Pulses” were also launched.The inaugural session was followed by four sessions devoted to the need of enhanced production and consumption of pulses for nutrition, investment in the supply chain of pulses and the need of value addition as well as the outlook of pulses globally with emphasis on India.
The National Agricultural Cooperative Federation of India Ltd. (NAFED) is the Central Nodal agency of Government of India for procurement of Pulses & Oilseeds, Copra and Cotton under PM Aasha at Minimum Support Price (MSP), in every crop season.
The Global Pulse Confederation (GPC), established in 1963 in France, is now headquartered at Dubai since 2009. It is a non-profit Confederation to promote production, consumption, awareness and trade of pulses, representing every component of supply chain related to the pulse industry such as growers, traders, govt bodies, trade promotion entities, processors and consumers. It is the Confederation of 26 national associations and thousands of corporates engaged in pulses trade in over 50 countries.