The substantial hike of Rs 275 in the minimum support price (MSP) of pulses this season is seen to have encouraged farmers for sowing this protein crop. As a result, the sowing area of pulses has increased to 22.61 lakh hectare from 9.27 lakh hectare last year. Also, the above normal monsoon in the month of June played an important role in increasing pulse acreage.
The government had increased MSP of various varieties of pulses on June 17 this year. The MSPs of Tur (Arhar) and Urad were increased from Rs 4,350 to Rs 4,625 per quintal while the MSP of Moong was increased from Rs 4,600 to Rs 4,850 per quintal.
Though India is the largest producer of pulses and produces around 20 million tonnes. However, it does not fulfil the demand and the country has to import around three million tonnes. Moreover, the last year’s deficient monsoon also decreased the production. As a result, India will have to import 6-7 million tonnes of pulses in 2015, a recent Assocham report says.
The less availability of pulses increases its retail prices tremendously time to time, has been a major reason of inflation. And therefore, the increase of pulse production has been in the top agenda of the government.