Prices of pulses likely to rise in festive season with demand hike: ASSOCHAM

New Delhi, Sept. 25 (ANI): As per an ASSOCHAM report, government is likely to import over 10 million tonnes of pulses since the domestic production may be limited to 17 million tonnes against the rising demand of 27 million tones.

The deficit monsoon rains have affected the yield in several producing states with a huge shortage of 10 million tones. The prices of various pulses may shoot up further by as much as 10 to 15 percent in the festival season, exerting prices on food items.

Festivals like Diwali being round the corner, the demand for pulses would further shoot up and prices may be looking up further by at least 10 to 15 percent making the pulses available at Rs 90-145/150 per kg with prices varying in different states.

The consumption of pulses and cereals increases because of increased demand for preparation of sweets and other delicacies going with different festivals, from Diwali right up to Christmas.

As per the study, India has a total annual demand of 27.1 million metric ton of pulses out of which it grows 17 million metric ton and imports the remaining 10.1 million ton to meet its domestic demand. With the lack of proper monsoons, there might be less production than usual. Import of the pulses from other countries could be extremely expensive this year as the grower countries already facing a shortage of supply have increased their selling rates, adds the study.

The major pulse crops grown in India are Gram and Tur. Gram, with a production of more than 7 million tonnes, contributes more than 41 percent in the total pulse production of the country. Tur, with a production of 2.7 million tonnes and a contribution of about 16 percent, is the second major pulse crop grown in India.

India is dependent mainly on Myanmar for Tur, Urad, Moong, Canada and U.S.A. for yellow peas, Australia, Canada and Myanmar for chana (desi chana/chickpeas), Canada, Australia and U.S.A. for lentils.

The major pulse-producing states -Maharashtra, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, which together account for about 70% of the country’s total kharif pulse production may witness less rainfall affecting the output and prices.

During 2013-14, pulses worth US $ 1.9 billion were imported. India’s large dependence on imports, higher prices and declining per capital availability and consumption of pulses have been matter of concern. Therefore, the Government must prepare an implementable action plan to incentivize farmers to cultivate more pulses in the Rabi season so that more technical support is provided. (ANI)

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