In recent years pulses have become the main drivers of food Price inflation in India. Why? What are the main constraints in expanding pulses production in India? Examine.
Hint: High demand supply gap; low productivity and low growth in productivity are three key reasons. We need to import the pulses to fill the demand supply gap; but international trade is much small in pulses in comparison to our demand. Further, India’s demand gaps are generally followed by hike in international price of pulses.
Constraints are biotic stresses (high pest infestation due to their N & P rich legume roots), abiotic stresses (grown in low fertility, rainfed soils subject to all vagaries of nature) and socio-political problems – higher cost of inputs and little importance given to pulses in comparison to the staples. Government simply relied on imports and now only has started thinking of having a buffer stock of pulses.