JORHAT, Sept 18 - After the Green (rice) and White (milk) revolutions, the Pulse Revolution is presently happening in India.
This was stated at the inaugural session of 24th Annual Group MULLaRP (Mungbean, uradbean, lentil, lathyrus, rajma and peas) meet of the two-day All India Coordinated Research Project (AICRP) on Rabi Crop, held at the Assam Agricultural University here recently.
Addressing the inaugural function, Assistant Director-General (Plant Protection, Indian Council of Agricultural Research), PK Chakrabarty said that there had been a significant leap in production of pulses in recent times and the country was nearing self-sufficiency.
Pointing out reasons for the achievement, Chakrabarty said he thought that there was an increase in production due to the Government supplying good quality breeder seeds to the farmers and increase in area of cultivation of pulses by including the use of rice-fallow land, which is land left out after rice is harvested.
Chakrabarty said that self-sufficiency would be achieved if the present growth rate was sustained. He said that in order to do so, research needed to be undertaken to produce improved varieties and given to farmers, while pests and disease had to be kept under control.
Chakrabarty asked the 60-odd scientists gathered from across the country to formulate a package of practices for herbicides and pesticides and also stressed on producing biofortified pulses which would help to reduce malnutrition in children and lactating mothers.
Sanjeev Gupta, Project Coordinator of MULLaRP from the Indian Institute of Pulses Research, Kanpur, in his address said that pulses in the country had achieved highest production up to 25.23 million tonnes (MT) in 2017, which had stagnated at 14 MT continuously for two decades.
�While chickpea is a major pulse in the winter season, there is a much scope for area expansion for lentil, field pea, lathyrus and rajma,� Gupta said.
He said that the Central Government has undertaken a programme Targetting Rice Fallow Areas (TRFA) in six States, including Assam, with an outlay of Rs 200 crore.
The project coordinator said that about 3 to 3.5 million hectares could be brought under rice fallow cultivation whereas at present only about 1-1.5 hectare is under cultivation in the eastern States.
�Assam is deficient in pulses by 25 per cent and all the north-eastern States by 60 per cent. So these areas need to be targetted for pulse production programmes,� Gupta said.
HK Borah, Principal Scientist and organising secretary, of AICRP on MULLaRP annual group meet also spoke on the ocassion.