My colleagues in the IPGA Managing Committee join me in welcoming all of you at The Pulses Conclave 2018 being held in New Delhi.
Friends, India’s pulses production has shown a remarkable increase in 2016-17 and is looking equally good for the year 2017-18 as well. The entire Government machinery is working tirelessly towards achieving the Hon’ble Prime Minister’s vision to double farmer’s income by 2022 and make India self-reliant in pulses.
The Government has complimented the farmer’s efforts with the introduction of tariff and non-tariff barriers on pulses imports and we feel that over a period of time things will fall in place and India will achieve the balance between production and imports to ensure availability of pulses at affordable prices.
Having said that, the Association is still pursuing the Government at various levels to try and include pulses in the PDS in every State. We believe that the key to achieving nutritional security is to make pulses affordable to those on or below-the-poverty-line and that can be achieved only by including the pulses into the PDS in every Indian State.
The FAO recently announced February 10th of every year as World Pulses Day and efforts are on to have the United Nations also recognise February 10th as World Pulses Day. We in the Pulses trade, as the key link between the Producer and Consumer, need to step up and plan initiatives to drive activities on World Pulses Day to ensure that pulses consumption shows an exponential growth in the coming years. I am sure that the growing consumption will be a huge incentive for our farmers to increase production.
The Government of India, recently, removed the ban on pulses exports after 11 long years. This, in our opinion, will be a morale and confidence booster for the Indian farmer as it gives him an additional option to improve his earnings and incentivize him to grow more pulses. I feel that the Indian trade should now start exploring the export options and thereby help the Indian farmer improve their earnings.
In this year’s Conclave, while focussing on the global pulses scenario, we have some interesting speeches focussing on pulses research in India to improve production, policy framework in agri sector as well as initiatives towards doubling farmer’s income.
I would like to extend a special welcome to Hon’ble Oneil Carlier, Minister for Agriculture and Forestry, Government of Alberta, Canada and Mr.Jesús M. Silveyra, Joint Secretary of State for Agribusiness Markets, Ministry of Agro Industries, Argentine Republic. Canada has been a long-standing partner of India in the Pulses trade and Argentina is fast growing their pulse production capacities to become a major player in the sector.
I, once again, welcome all to The Pulses Conclave 2018 and am sure that you will have a great time in India’s capital city!
Zaverchand (Jitu) Bheda
India Pulses and Grains Association