Production of Pulses and Vegetable Oils

July 26: The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) has assessed the impact of pulses cultivation in different agro-ecologies with respect to soil health, soil microbial biomass, resilience to climate change etc.

The government of India is supplementing the efforts of state governments to encourage diversified production of crops including pulses, coarse cereals, nutri cereals, cotton & oilseeds under the National Food Security Mission (NFSM) and horticultural crops under the Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH). The government of India also provides flexibility to the states for state-specific needs/priorities under Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY).

Further, to encourage farmers to adopt alternative crops to paddy, the Department of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare (DA&FW) is implementing the Crop Diversification Programme (CDP) under RKVY in the Original Green Revolution States viz; Haryana, Punjab and Western Uttar Pradesh since 2013-14 towards alternative crops like pulses, oilseeds, coarse cereals, nutri cereals, cotton etc. CDP aims at demonstrating alternative crops in farmer’s fields. A pilot project for “Diversification of 4.85 million hectares” in five years (2023-24 to 2027-28) in identified 75 districts of 17 States / Union Territory namely Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Uttarakhand and West Bengal representing 14 Agro-Ecological Regions of the country has been approved to ICAR-Indian Institute of Farming Systems Research (IIFSR), Modipuram.

While the production of oilseeds is not sufficient to meet the domestic demand for vegetable oils, however, the increased production of pulses has narrowed down the import of pulses to around 9 per cent of the domestic production. In order to enhance the production of oilseeds and pulses, the Government is implementing National Food Security Mission (NFSM) in the country. Under NFSM, assistance is given through State Governments to farmers for interventions like cluster demonstrations on an improved package of practices, demonstrations on cropping system, seed production and distribution of High Yielding Varieties/Hybrids, improved farm machinery/resource conservation machinery/tools, efficient water application tools, plant protection measures, nutrient management/soil ameliorants, cropping system based training to the farmers etc. The production of pulses has increased from 163.20 lakh tonne in 2015-16 to 275.04 lakh tonne in 2022-23 (as per 3rd Advance Estimates) and oilseeds from 252.50 lakh tonne to 409.97 lakh tonne during the same period. Further, the import of pulses has declined from 58 lakh tonne in 2015-16 to 24.96 lakh tonne in 2022-23.

 In addition, the mission also provides support to the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) & State Agricultural Universities (SAUs)/Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) for technology back-stopping and transfer of technology to the farmer under the supervision of Subject Matter Specialists/Scientists. The government has also launched a separate Mission for Oil Palm namely, National Mission on Edible Oils (Oil Palm) in 2021-22.  Both, NFSM- Oilseeds and NMEO (OP) mission components are being implemented in the country with the objective to augment the availability of vegetable oils by increasing the production and productivity of oilseeds & oil palm. Further, Targeting Rice Fallow Area (TRFA) under NFSM is implemented for the cultivation of pulses & oilseeds in rice fallow of 12 states. RKVY also supports pulses and oilseeds production in the states.

The prices of pulses and oilseeds being sold to the farmers in various states comprise incentives provided by Government of India under NFSM programme on certified seed distribution of High Yielding Varieties (HYVs) of pulses and oilseeds (except sesame) upto Rs. 5000 per quintal and Rs. 4000 per quintal, respectively and for Hybrids in oilseeds and varieties of sesame upto Rs. 8000 per quintal. Further, the Government is also supplying seed mini kits of HYVs of pulses and oilseeds free of cost to the farmers.

This information was given by the Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Shri Narendra Singh Tomar in a written reply in Lok Sabha today.

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