Pulses @ Farmer’s Friend

Pulses are drought-resistant and can supply groundwater to companion crops when planted in intercropping systems. India has agro-ecology to grow different pulses crops in different seasons thus, in dry environments where food security is a huge setback can intensify their production systems in a sustainable manner using genetically modified pulses . More crop per drop happens when mung beans (Vigna radiata (L.) R. Wilczek) are introduced in rotation with winter wheat and cotton during the short fallow period, farmers obtain an income increase from US$1384 to US$2907 from 0.5 ha of land. Pulses show orthodox seed storage behavior, meaning that they are seeds that are able to germinate after being stored for a long period. Pulses help in biodiversity and enhance soil nitrogen as they are nitrogen fixing plants. Pulses fix atmospheric nitrogen in their roots. The following crop after pulses requires less of nitrogenous fertiliser (15-20%), and can thus help in saving costs of fertilizer subsidy. Pulses also contribute in improving carbon content of the soil and raise productivity for the subsequent crop.

Indian  farmers prefer to cultivate old varieties on commercial scale as they like their performance and profile. The Seeds Division of Department of Agriculture and Cooperation, Ministry of Agriculture, compiles season wise and variety wise requirement and availability of seeds of major varieties including pulses. In India, Pulse crops are grown by farmers in poor fertile soils and areas where less rain is received. The genotypes of pulses have inbuilt potential to provide relatively good production even in stress conditions i.e. drought, frost and water logging. However, it is observed that extreme abnormal temperature at the time of fruit setting to pod development stages may reduce the productivity due to less fruit setting, non-healthy development of grain and forced maturity of grain. Pulse crops provide grain and residues. On an average, about 158.23 lakh quintals of grains of pulses and 3, 27, 53,828 tonnes of crop residues (straw and stalk) are received per year. In India, pulse grains are converted into split pulses (Dal) for consumption. This Dal is used for making many products like sweets, Dalmoth, Dal, Sauce etc. Many of processing machines are engaged in processing of pulse grains and it’s by products. Residues of pulses are used for animals and making toys, green manure etc.


Various initiatives are being taken by GOI to promote pulses farming. Some of them are,

National Food Security Mission – Pulses


  1. Restoring soil fertility and productivity at individual farm level,
  2. Creation of employment opportunities

iii) Enhancing farm level economy to restore confidence among the farmers, and iv) Creating awareness about the use of improved seed and crop Production technology.

Implementing Agencies: Ministry of Agriculture is implementing this programme through

  1. i) Commissioners/Directors of Agriculture of pulse producing states,
  2. ii) Central Government Institutes: ICAR and IIPR, and

iii) International Institutes: ICRISAT and ICARDA.

Area of operation: Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Haryana, Jharkhand, Karnataka,, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.

Funding: 100 % by Union Ministry of Agriculture, Krishi Bhavan, New Delhi.

Major Interventions: 1) Seed: Distribution of Certified seed, 2) Demonstrations: Cluster and Front Line Demonstrations, 3) Integrated Nutrient Management (INM): Micronutrients, Lime / gypsum, Rhizobium culture, 4) Integrated Pest Management (IPM): Encouraging farmers to adopt Mechanical / Biological / Bio-fertilizer / Bio-pesticide tactics, 5) Resource Conservation Technologies / Tools: Knapsack Sprayers, Zero Till Seed Drills, Multi Crop Planter, Seed Drills, Ridge Furrow Planters, Rotavators and Laser Land Levelers, and 6) Efficient Water Application Tools: Distribution of Sprinkler sets, Incentive for Mobile Sprinkler Rainguns, Incentive for Pumpset and Pipe for carrying water from source to the Field.

Accelerated Pulses Production Programme (A3P):

This has been implementing since Kharif 2010-11.

Objectives: To demonstrate plant nutrient and plant protection centric technologies and management practices in compact units of 1000 hectares each for five major pulse crops viz. Bengal gram, Black gram (Urdbean), Red gram (Arhar), Green gram (Moongbean), and Lentil (Masur).

Implementing agencies: DAC is implementing this programme through i) Commissioners/Directors of Agriculture of pulse producing states, and ii) Central Government Institutes: NCIPM of ICAR.

Area of operation: Andhra Pradesh (14 districts), Assam (10), Bihar (13), Chhattisgarh (8), Gujarat (11), Haryana (5), Jharkhand (15), Karnataka (13), Madhya Pradesh (20), Maharashtra (18), Odisha (10), Punjab (7), Rajasthan (16), Tamil Nadu (12), Uttar Pradesh (19), and West Bengal (5 districts).

Funding pattern: 100 % funding by Union Ministry of Agriculture, GOI, Krishi Bhavan, New Delhi.

Cost Norm / Expenditure for INM and IPM for One hectare: For conducting A3P demonstrations in respect of Pigeonpea, Urdbean, Moongbean,Gram and Lentil, the DAC of Ministry of Agriculture has provided an financial assistance of Rs.5400/-, Rs.4800/-, Rs.4800/-, Rs.5600/- and Rs.5000/- respectively

per ha for the items of A3P Unit like, Seed Minikit, Gypsum, Micronutrient (Zinc Sulphate, Borex, Ferrous Sulphate, Micronutrient Mixture), Rhizobium Culture, PSB culture, Urea (Folior spray), Fungicide for seed treatment, Insecticide / Fungicide / Bio-agent (NPV), Bio-pesticide, Weedicides and e-pest surveillance.

As seen, the fund utilization during the period indicated in table 15 was 80.17% against the fund released by GOI.

Special initiatives for pulses and oilseeds in dry land areas of 60000 villages programme under RKVY 2010-11.

Objective: To provide services of mechanization on custom hiring basis, especially for soil preparation and sowing for improving production and productivity of pulses and oilseeds.

Implementing agencies: DAC implemented this programme through Commissioners / Directors of Agriculture / Engineering of respective states.

Area of operation: Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.

Funding pattern:  100 % funded by GOI.

Interventions: Ensuring timely land preparation and planting of the crops on ridges so as to facilitate in-situ-water conservation in watershed. Under this approach, a set of implements such as tractors, rotavators and ridge furrow planter alongwith some working capital at 6000 designated watershed centric locations were provided during 2010-11 to a nominated agency for providing custom hiring services to pulses and oilseeds growers of adjoining 10 villages in a hub and spoke model covering 60, 000 villages.

Progress of implementation: A total of Rs.300.00 crores were allocated for implementation during 2010-11 against which Rs. 287.57 were utilized (95.86% fund utilized).

Integrated Development of 60000 Pulses villages in Rainfed Areas 2011-12

Objective: To increase production and productivity of pulse crops by disseminating latest production technologies at the farmers’ field.

Implementing agencies: DAC implemented this programme through Commissioners / Directors of Agriculture of respective states.

Area of operation: Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh.

Funding pattern:  100 % funded by GOI.

Interventions: Conduction of large scale demonstration on A3P pattern for eight pulses (Pigeon pea, Urad bean, Moong bean, Gram, Lentil, Moth bean, field peas and Rajmash, construction of farm pond with or without lining and lining of old farm ponds, Market linked supply chain by organizing pulses farmers in to farmer producer organization. Small farmers’ Agribusiness Consortium (SFAC) has been assigned the responsibility of organizing the farmer producer organizations and establishing this chain.

Special Plan to achieve 19+ million tonnes of Pulses production during Kharif 12-13

Objective: Utilization of new areas through intercropping, improving planting techniques and irrigation use efficiency for inclusive water management and use of important critical but low cost inputs like sulphur and weedicides and productivity boosters.

Implementing agency: DAC implemented this programme through Commissioners / Directors of Agriculture of respective states.

Area of Operation: Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and Rajasthan.

Funding pattern: 100 % funded by GOI.

Interventions: Intercropping of Pigeonpea / Urd / Moong / Moth with Cotton / Oilseeds / Maize / Sorghum / Pearl millets, In-situ moisture conservation (Ridge & furrow), Critical inputs / plant growth regulators / nutrient mixtures.

Progress of implementation: Rs.7.42 crores tentatively spent against allocation of Rs.55.32 crores.

Additional area coverage of Pulses Rabi/Summer under NFSM-Pulses for additional Rabi/Summer production during 2012-13

Objective: Additional area coverage for additional production during Rabi /summer 2012-13.

Implementing agency: DAC implemented this programme through Commissioners / Directors of Agriculture of respective states.

Area of operation: Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Haryana, Jharkhand, Karnataka,, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.

Funding pattern: 100 % funded by GOI.

Interventions: Distribution of certified seed, INM, IPM, Water carrying pipes, PP chemicals, A3P demonstrations.

Progress of implementation: Rs.30.65 crores were spent against allocated amount of Rs.94.98 crores (tentative).

Macro Management of Agriculture (MMA)

Objective: To accelerate the productivity of major crops including pulses of areas, which are not covered in other schemes.

Implementing agencies: DAC implemented the scheme from 2001-02 to 2012-13 through Commissioners / Directors of Agriculture of respective states.

Funding pattern: 90:10 between Central & State Governments

Interventions: Seed: Production of Breeder seed, Production of Foundation and Certified seed, distribution of certified seed, distribution of seed minikits, strengthening of SSCA, INM, IPM etc.

 Integrated Development of 60,000 Pulses Villages in Rainfed Areas by SFAC
The Small Farmers’ Agribusiness Consortium (SFAC) is promoting farmer producer organisations (FPOs) to make smallholder agriculture remunerative through “farming together, growing together”, thus integrating producers in the value chain. Pulses are often grown in rain-fed areas having low yields, and are prone to several diseases and pests. The average yield of pulses is less than 800 kg per hectare. Due to subsequent droughts, production from a peak of 19.27 million tonnes in 2013-14 is expected to dip to 17.2 million tonnes in 2015-16. Notwithstanding the erratic climate pattern, raising productivity from the currently very low level should be the first step. Farm scientists claim the availability of high-yielding, disease-resistant and drought-escaping varieties for cultivation. To spread the improved varieties, the 60,000 pulses village programme may be expanded to 1 lakh villages for field-level demonstrations (at least five in one village, at the rate of Rs 3,500 per demonstration) by allocating a sum of Rs 175 crore. Commodity-specific FPOs are coming up for production, processing, marketing, retailing and export. Although some FPOs already deal in pulses, incentives may be given to form more and larger FPOs for production, processing and marketing of pulses. FPOs can play an important role in production, branding and linking with organised retail and processing. Incentives may be given to pulses FPOs for procuring machines for sorting, processing and packaging. A sum of Rs 5 crore may be allocated for incentivizing or subsidizing FPOs for credit, machines, etc, to develop the value chain for pulses.

Significant Highlights Of FPO Work,

  • 1000 quintals of milled pulses sold directly by farmers in KN and Maharashtra
  • Rabi seed production programme proposed with NSC and SFCI: mustard, chana, lentil.
  • Mobilize 10 lakh pulse and millet farmers in 5 yrs
  • Build FPOs; training; technology infusion; market linkages
  • Complete integration in value chain to be undertaken