Is Pulses Revolution a possibility?

The neglect of pulses saw them being relegated to marginal lands during the Green Revolution, even as rice and wheat production grew manifold. As India grapples with a demand-supply gap it is time, through technological breakthroughs, right policies and incentives to farmers to bridge this gap. The widening gap between demand and supply of pulses in India and the resulting inflation and increasing imports has highlighted the neglect that these protein-rich leguminous crops suffered for decades, especially during the Green Revolution. Green Revolution saw added impetus to wheat and rice production, with more and more areas being devoted to these crops, and pulses being pushed into marginal lands (Ninan, et. al. 1993). With the United Nations declaring 2016 as the International Year of Pulses, India’s role in holistic development of its agriculture needs bolstering. Pulses are leguminous plants belonging to the Fabaceae family. Each pod produces 1-12 grains of various colours and sizes. They are the chief source of protein for a majority of Indians and being relatively cheaper they are often referred to as ‘poor man’s protein’. In addition to this they fix nitrogen in their nodules, rejuvenating the soil and helping it to regain fertility. India is the largest producer (accounting for 25 per cent of global production), as also consumer (27 per cent of world’s consumption) and importer (14 per cent)...

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