Pulses, or Dal as we popularly call it in India, have been an integral part of our culinary history. Right from the Harappan civilization till modern times, the Indian kitchen has been cooking pulses in some form or the other. This strong bonding with Dal has given India the unique distinction of being both the largest producer and consumer of pulses in the world.
Looking at the intense consumption of Dal by Indians, many pulse producing countries have also increased their production and started benchmarking Indian demand to their productivity levels.
The pulse trade in India is cognizant of the demands of the Indian consumer and has strived to ensure that there is a sustainable supply of pulses into the country throughout the year. In the last one-year, the India Pulses and Grain Association (IPGA) has been working to bridge the gap between the government and the pulse trade. A consistent system of transparent sharing of information and views has been created ensuring that the government is aware of pulse stocks entering Indian shores. We are very thankful to the government for listening to the concerns of the trade and responding to our suggestions. The government’s quick thinking and action also ensured that the price escalation of Tur was effectively managed last year.
For IPGA, consumers and farmers are critical to the development of the pulse sector. While our consistent efforts in ensuring adequate stock of pulses into the country has safeguarded the interests of the Indian consumer, we have also started work with the farmers to increase production of pulses in the country. I am very pleased to share that IPGA is working with farmers in Marathwada to create an irrigation model that would ensure a sustainable production of pulses throughout the year. We are also working with the NAAM Foundation headed by noted actor Shri Nana Patekar to help farmers improve yield and production of pulses as well as ensure that they are able to get a fair price for their produce. NAAM Foundation, through their network, will connect with farmers to create large size land parcels of at least 5000 acres. After the creation of the land parcels, IPGA will step-in and support farmers at various levels including, good quality seeds, fertilisers, mechanization, training, etc. In addition, post the harvesting of the crop IPGA members will procure this produce at appropriate prices. We believe that this initiative will keep the farmer interested in cultivating more pulses and drive India towards self-sufficiency in Pulses.
As the premier trade body of pulses in the country, IPGA also organizes forums and events where various stakeholders can deliberate on issues related to the sector. We have in the past organized the Pulses Conclave and the Pulses Seminar. Held once in two years, the Pulses Conclave held in India has had participation from across the globe. Delegates from Australia, USA, Canada, Turkey, China, Russia, Ukraine, Spain, Pakistan, Kenya, Myanmar, and China, to name a few, have actively participated in the event and contributed to its success. The 68th UN General Assembly had declared 2016 as the International Year of Pulses (IYP 2016). IPGA along with McGill University, Canada, had co-hosted a National Pulse Food Innovation contest inviting Catering Colleges and Food Technology Institutes to develop innovative pulse-based foods.
Apart from encouraging the production and consumption of pulses in India and abroad, we are also working towards the betterment of the pulse seed and yield. IPGA has formalized a Memorandum of Understanding with ICRISAT to work towards increasing production and yield of pulses in the country.
In the end, on behalf of our members I would like to extend support to all our stakeholders in creating a sustainable eco-system for the production, distribution and consumption of pulses in the country.
India Pulses and Grains Association