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The sustainable crop

When it comes to pulse crops in India, the majority grow under non-ideal conditions in land that is either too dry or too moist. Soil nutrients, too, are often depleted or inadequate. Then there are the vagaries of weather and climate. In addition, pulses are extremely susceptible to pest and disease attacks.

These are the conditions and constraints that agricultural scientists and breeders strive to overcome by creating hybrids and varieties of seeds that will generate robust crops that provide higher yields or are more pest and disease tolerant or resistant.

In the case of the Indian farmer, the reality is that most pulses are grown on marginal lands, where soil fertility and moisture is poor, with the farmer having to battle multiple challenges of plant nutrition and irrigation, in addition to warding off pest, weed and disease attacks in order to achieve a productive crop and viable yield.

Despite all these constraints, pulses are crops that provide farmers an extensive range of options for enhancing revenue generated from the land. Pulses fix nitrogen, consume less water, provide a healthy, protein-rich food and are, in the long term, a sustainable crop.

Today, the benefits of agricultural science are trickling down to farmers, enabling them to use quick-growing varieties of pulses for multiple croppings and as inter crops, pest- and disease-resistant varieties for better pest management, and high-yield seeds that are so effective as to almost double the yields. GrowMorePulses presents a few packages of practices that provide in-depth knowledge and up-to-date information on all aspects related to growing pulses.

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Members' contributions
Nitrogen-fixing nodules
from Mr TalaCrishna Sood
The real pulses problem
from Mr Pappu Singh
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