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Pulses: An India overview

India is the largest producer and consumer of pulses in the world. A study by the Tata Strategic Management Group analyses the pulses market in India to understand each state’s contribution

India produces a quarter of the world’s pulses, accounting for one third of the total acreage under pulses. Indians consume 30 per cent of the world’s pulses, but domestic production of pulses has not kept pace with population growth.

Pulses production has grown at only a 1 per cent CAGR from 1951–2008, compared to a population growth of about 2 per cent during the same period.

Source: Department of Agriculture & Cooperation

Low productivity

The productivity of pulses has been very low in India, with 45 per cent cumulative growth between FY 1951–2008, compared to the productivities of wheat and rice, which have grown manifold, at 320 and 230 per cent, respectively, during the same period. Also, the area under pulses has grown at 25 per cent during this period, a much lower rate than that for other food grains.

productivity food grains
Source: Department of Agriculture & Cooperation

Chickpeas (chana), pigeonpeas (arhar / toor dal), urad beans (urad dal), mung beans (moong) and red lentils (masoor) are the top five pulses grown in India and account for over 80 per cent of the total pulses production in the country. Over 60 per cent of pulses produced in India are grown during the rabi season.

pulse pro by type
Source: Department of Agriculture & Cooperation

india pulses state smll

Click here for larger view

Pulse-producing states
The top five states, which are Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh, account for over 75 per cent of total production. Madhya Pradesh is the highest pulse-producing state (3.2 million tonnes/annum) followed by Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh. In terms of productivity,Haryana had the highest yield,at  824 kg/ ha, in 2007, followed by Madhya  Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

top pulses
Source: Department of Agriculture & Cooperation

Dependence on imports
Imports of pulses in India have been increasing and currently account for about 15–20 per cent of total domestic availability.

Canada and Myanmar are the major exporters to India. India imports white peas, green peas (dried) from Canada and the US, while Myanmar supplies several pulse varieties similar to India’s own domestic produce, mostly urad beans, mung beans and pigeon peas. India also imports dried peas and chickpeas from Australia, chickpeas from Tanzania, dry peas from France and red kidney beans from China. A split of the various pulse types imported shows that India imports a large quantity of dry peas, which contributes to almost 70 per cent of India’s supply.

india import pulses
Source: Directorate of Economics & Statistics, Directorate General of Foreign Trade

countrywise pulse import
Source: Directorate of Economics & Statistics, Directorate General of Foreign Trade
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