Call Us Now

+91 9606900005 / 04

For Enquiry

legacyiasacademy@gmail.com

High Inflation in Pulses Strains Consumers and Impacts Self-Sufficiency Goals

Context:

Pulses recorded an annual retail inflation of 16.84% in April 2024, exacerbating consumer hardship, especially since pulses are seldom distributed through the public distribution system (PDS). Food inflation pressures, driven by an El Niño event and an election year, have reversed the nation’s progress towards achieving near self-sufficiency in pulse production.

Relevance:

GS III: Agriculture

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Pulses Production in India
  2. Cause and Effect of the Inflation in Pulses
  3. Sign of Relief and Challenges Ahead

Pulses Production in India

Major Protein Sources:

Pulses are crucial protein sources in the diet, grown in all three seasons in India.

  • Kharif: Arhar, Urad, Moong
  • Rabi: Gram, Lentil, Pea
  • Summer: Greengram, Blackgram, Cowpea

Leading Producer:

  • India has over 35 Mha of pulses cultivation area, making it the largest pulses producing country globally.
  • Ranks first in area (37%) and production (29%).

Increased Productivity:

  • Productivity in 2021-22 was 932 kg/ha, showing significant growth over the last five years.
Government Initiatives:

National Food Security Mission (NFSM)-Pulses:

  • Implemented by the Department of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare.
  • Aims to increase production through area expansion and productivity enhancement across 28 states and 2 UTs (J&K and Ladakh).

Research and Development:

  • ICAR is conducting basic and strategic research to enhance the productivity potential of pulses.

PM Annadata Aay Sanrakshan Abhiyan (PM-AASHA):

  • Ensures remunerative prices for farmers.
  • Includes Price Support Scheme (PSS), Price Deficiency Payment Scheme (PDPS), and Private Procurement Stockist Scheme (PPSS).
  • Guarantees Minimum Support Price (MSP) for notified oilseeds, pulses, and copra.
The Current Prices of Pulses as per the Department of Consumer Affairs

Chana (Chickpea):

  • Cheapest available pulse.
  • Average all-India modal price: Rs 85 per kg (May 23), up from Rs 70 a year ago.

Arhar/Tur (Pigeon Pea):

  • Price increased from Rs 120 to Rs 160 per kg.

Urad (Black Gram) and Moong (Green Gram):

  • Prices rose from Rs 110 to Rs 120 per kg.

Masoor (Red Lentil):

  • Only pulse with a decreased modal retail price, from Rs 95 to Rs 90 per kg.

Cause and Effect of the Inflation in Pulses

Cause – Decline in Domestic Pulses Production

Decrease in Production:

  • Production fell from 27.30 million tonnes (mt) in 2021-22 and 26.06 mt in 2022-23 to 23.44 mt in 2023-24.
  • Causes include irregular/deficient monsoon caused by El Niño and winter rain.

Impact on Farmers:

  • Farmers in Karnataka, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana planted less area due to irregular/deficient rainfall.
  • Chana and arhar pulses saw the highest inflation due to sharp output falls.
Effect – Surge in Imports

Government Measures:

  • Central government phased out tariffs and quantitative restrictions (QR) on most pulse imports due to food inflation pressures.

Import Statistics:

  • India’s pulses imports valued at $3.75 billion in 2023-24, highest since 2015-16 and 2016-17.
  • Import of major pulses totaled 4.54 mt in 2023-24, up from 2.37 mt and 2.52 mt in the preceding two fiscals.
Effect – Reversal of Relative Self-Sufficiency

Increased Production:

  • Domestic pulses production rose from 16.32 mt to 27.30 mt between 2015-16 and 2021-22 due to government incentives.
  • Policy measures included MSP-based procurement and levying duties on imports.

Short-Duration Varieties:

  • Development of short-duration (50-75 day) chana and moong varieties increased production.
  • Allowed planting of up to four crops a year: kharif (post-monsoon), rabi (winter), spring, and summer.

Sign of Relief and Challenges Ahead

La Niña
  • Climate Projections:
    • El Niño expected to shift into a neutral phase next month, with a chance of La Niña, linked to abundant rainfall in the subcontinent.
Unstable Domestic Supply
  • Government Procurement:
    • Government agencies have procured very little chana from this year’s crop compared to 2.13 mt in 2023 and 2.11 mt in 2022.
    • Duty-free imports of urad, masoor, desi chana, and arhar/tur approved till March 31, 2025.
Import of Cheaper Substitutes
  • Alternatives to Chana:
    • Yellow/white peas can be imported for between Rs 40 and Rs 41 per kg as a less expensive alternative to chana.
  • Replacing Arhar/Tur:
    • Masoor dal is increasingly used instead of arhar or tur in many eateries for making sambar.
  • Increased Imports:
    • Anticipated increase in imports of pulses from Russia, Australia, and Canada, as well as urad and arhar/tur from East Africa and Myanmar.

June 2024
MTWTFSS
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
Categories