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Rs 300 crore for pulses research likely
Commodity Online, New Delhi | August 16, 2007 15:43 IST
As part of this, the union government is likely to provide Rs 300 crore (Rs 3 billion) for pulses research, aimed at boosting domestic production.
The National Food Security Mission has allocated Rs 1,000 crore (Rs 10 billion) for research in foodgrain and pulses. Indian Institute of Pulses Research, Kanpur, has submitted a proposal for allocation of Rs 300 crore (Rs 3 billion) for pulses research.
The money will be spent on strengthening the infrastructure in the 35 centres of the institution and boosting seed production.
The quality seed production in pulses needs to be doubled from 6.5 lakh quintals to 13 lakh quintals over the next three years. This could lead to a 10 per cent increase in pulses production and the institution may not need to import huge quantities at exorbitant rates.
It has set a target of increasing production to 16 million tonnes by 2010 from 14 million tonnes now.
Though the institute is adding new varieties every year, there is no proper conversion of the breeder seeds into foundation and certified seeds, which is handled by the central and state seed agencies.
The chronic demand-supply imbalance for most pulses has been continuing for over a decade now. Moreover, with rising population and income levels, domestic consumption of pulses, estimated at over 15-16 million tonnes annually, is steadily increasing.
Domestic production of pulses touched a high of 14.91 million tonnes in 2003-04, but declined to 13.13 million tonnes in 2004-05. In 2005-06, the output was marginally up by 2.6 lakh tonnes to 13.39 million tonnes. In the current year, the production is estimated to rise to 14.23 million tonnes.
The 2007-08 budget also emphasised the expansion of the centrally sponsored Integrated Scheme of Oilseeds, Pulses, Oilpalm and Maize, with sharper focus on scaling up the production of breeder, foundation and certified seeds.
The country has relied on imports to fill the gap between domestic production and consumption. However, with overseas availability of the commodity being limited, boosting domestic production can reduce the price volatility in pulses.