Making Pulses Affordable Again
While outlining strategies to increase availability of pulses at affordable prices, it is argued that increasing domestic production of pulses is the only option. Access to one or two protective irrigation sources during the growing season can lead to sizeable increases in pulse production. The har khet ko paani initiative should give priority to pulse-producing areas. The minimum support price, without procurement, helps traders more than farmers because it acts as a focal point for tacit collusion among traders. Including subsidised pulses in the public distribution system has only a small effect on consumption of pulses. We suggest investing in research and extension, aggregating into farmer producer organisations, and paying growers or growing areas for the ecosystem services offered by pulses.
We thank Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation as a donor to the India Food Security Portal. Some of the work in the project was drawn from the Technical Assistance and Research for Indian Nutrition and Agriculture project. We also convey our thanks to the Government of India and Indian Council of Agricultural Research for extending full support in facilitating research on pulses.
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