India Unveils Scheme to Boost Pulses Output

The Indian government has formulated a new policy to promote domestic cultivation of pulses like lentils and encourage farmers to grow them instead of traditional crops. It aims to boost India’s pulses output to attain self-sufficiency and reduce huge annual imports.

Key Details of the scheme

5-Year Price Assurance

Under the scheme announced by Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal, government agencies namely the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED) and National Cooperative Consumers Federation (NCCF) would sign 5-year contracts with farmer collectives willing to grow pulses, assuring procurement at pre-fixed Minimum Support Prices (MSP).

Replacing Acreage of Wheat/Rice

The program specifically targets replacing portions of acreage traditionally allotted for wheat and rice with pulses and oilseeds through financial de-risking for farmers venturing into new crops.

Developing Domestic Capacity

With India importing 30-35 Lakh tonnes of lentils, pigeon peas and black gram annually, concerted efforts to enhance domestic capacity can reduce import bills and associated vulnerabilities over time.

Roadmap for Urad and Tur

As part of planning, Agriculture Minister Arjun Munda revealed that large scale on-field demo projects have been designed starting 2023 Kharif season to familiarize techniques for farmers to increase yields of Urad and Tur dals with aim for self-sufficiency by 2027.

Exponential Production Growth

Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal stated India has managed to increase total annual pulses output from 170 Lakh tonnes in 2014 to 270 Lakh tonnes in 2023, a 60% quantum leap in about a decade highlighting policy successes.

He also said that the procurement of pulses has increased by 18 times in the past decade and there has been a quantum jump in the MSP of all pulses.

Price Support Hike

Additionally, pulses procurement under MSP prices has expanded 18 times over the past 10 years. MSP rates for all pulses have also witnessed significant jumps in alignment with cultivation costs and inflation indexes.

The scheme was announced at the Global Pulse Confederation (GPC)’s convention — Pulses 24, which was attended by top international and domestic players.

The Indian government is also working with Brazil and Argentina for the imports of urad as dependence on one country for imports poses risk.


The National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd (NAFED) and National Cooperative Consumer Federation India Ltd (NCCF) are apex organizations for the cooperatives network across rural India. They aim to promote farmer producer organizations and steer procurement of agri-commodities to ensure stable crop prices and safeguard farm incomes.


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