Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister to Visit IIPR, Kanpur
Commemoration of International Year of Pulses by IIPR
Commemoration of International Year of Pulses by IIPR
Pulses are important food crops for the nutritional security of large populations, particularly in Latin America, Africa and Asia, where pulses are integral part of traditional diets and often grown by small farmers. Pulses as an affordable alternative to more expensive animal-based protein, and are ideal for improving diets in poorer parts of the world, where protein sources from milk are often moreexpensive than the protein sourced from pulses. The United Nations has also observed that pulses contribute significantly in addressing hunger, food security, malnutrition, environmental challenges and human health. Keeping in view the enormous importance of pulses in human diet as well as soil health, United Nations has declared the year 2016 as the International year of Pulses with the aim of increasing public awareness about benefits of pulses as well as their promotion throughout the world. Owing to the special significance of pulses in the daily diets of Indian masses, Government of India has also planned and launched several programmes for making pulse production profitable in the country.
The visit of Shri Radha Mohan Singh, Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare to ICAR-Indian Institute of Pulses Research, Kanpur on 13thMarch 2016 underlines the commitment of government in this direction. During his visit, the minster would monitor the research work in the institute and would address the scientists. On this occasion, he would also address farmers and brief them about various government policies and welfare programmes.
India has confronted with the issue of stability in the pulses production till the year 2010 with the total production hovering around 14-15 million tonnes. However, during the last few years the production of pulses in the country has witnessed an upward trend and it has consistently remained >18 million tonnes since 2010. The latest production figure of 19.78 million tonnes for the year 2013-14 has been an all time high record. The growth rate in pulse production (2.61%) during this decade has been even higher than the growth rate of rice (1.59%), wheat (1.89%) and all cereals together (1.88%). Among different pulses, the highest growth rate was observed in chickpea production (5.89%), followed by pigeonpea (2.61%). This appears to be a revolutionary movement for the country towards achieving self sufficiency in pulses production which has been a long pending demand. This is a clear indication that the pulse has better growth potential than other crops. Enhancement in the availability of Improved technological options, their timely transfer to the producers coupled with their adoption by the farmers, facilitated the growth of pulses in the country. Focused efforts and hard work of pulses researchers, initiatives of government, right policy framework and above all active participation of the farmers contributed towards achieving this growth rate. However, the country still needs to import about 30-40 lakh tonnes pulses which exerts a heavy burden on national exchequer. The situation calls for dedicated efforts for increasing the pulse production in the country. The advancement in the technologies coupled with initiatives for popularizing pulses in non traditional areas of the country provide a new hope for promoting pulses. The avenue of expansion in the rice fallows have strengthened the prospects for area expansion under pulse crops in the country.
The Indian Institute of Pulses Research is playing a key role in advancing pulses research in frontier areas through multidisciplinary approach. The most significant achievements of this Institute include reduction in crop duration viz., mungbean from 75 to 55 days, lentil from 140 to 120 days and chickpea from 135 to 100 days; increase in seed size of Kabuli chickpea from 35 to 55 g and lentil from 3.2 to 4.0 g per 100 seeds; development of MYMV resistant, non shattering and synchronous maturing varieties in mungbean and urdbean, development of high input responsive, wilt resistant varieties in chickpea, development of early maturing varieties in pigeonpea suitable for multiple cropping and green seeded variety of field pea for diversified food uses. Development of transgenics in pigeonpea and chickpea for resistance against gram pod borer is at quite advanced stage. The Institute has also developed several pulse production and protection technologies including integrated disease and pest management modules, identification of highly remunerative cropping systems, development of resource conservation techniques, development of vertical pulse thresher, pigeonpea stripper and suction winnower developed for threshing of pulse crops and development and validation of functional participatory seed production model.
The Institute is striving to intensify the breeding programme through both conventional and genomics- enabled crop improvement. It has exclusive focus on development of hybrids in pigeonpea, transgenics against pod borer in chickpea and pigeonpea, high yielding varieties with tolerance to biotic and abiotic stresses, bio-intensification of pulse-based cropping systems and resource conservation, mechanization and minimizing post harvest yield loss, climate risk management and efficient extension models for dissemination of pulse-based technologies for farmers to make the pulse cultivation in the country productive and remunerative. The commemoration of International Year of Pulses by this pioneer Institute will not only spread the message of importance of pulses but will also promote their cultivation to take country towards achieving self sufficiency.