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Q. India and Pulses: In the backdrop of recent agreement with Mozambique for supply of pulses, Discuss why India needs a long-term strategic plan to meets its growing demand for pulses.
Jul 08, 2016 Related to : GS Paper-2 and 3

Ans :

In news-

Recently India and signs an agreement with Mozambique to import pulses (pigeon pea/arhar) for a period of five year. Similarly earlier India has signed agreements with Myanmar and Malawi for supply of other pulses.

Introduction-

Growing India’s economy and rising incomes of Indian people is demanding higher protein intake particularly of pulses.  Most of the people prefer pulses for protein instead of meat due to its high cost and cultural reasons.

Why India needs long term strategic plan

  • Consumption of pulses is highest in India in comparison to others. The current demand for pulses in the country is over 22 million tonnes and the demand is rising. But the production of pulses in India is below 19 million tonnes. The balance is met through exports.
  • India dependent on imports meet its demand of pulses. India approximately imports 5 million tonnes of pulses from 46 countries. Hence any dip in production in those countries will results in inflation in India.
  • Imports are not long term solutions. Demand for pulses is rising even in parts of the world where it hasn’t been a staple diet. Hence imports may become costlier in coming years.
  • India has large population of malnutrition and intake of pulses is very important to curb the malnutrition. Many times prices of pulses rose at an alarming pace, which forced many weaker sections to cut back their consumption of pulses.
  • Even United Nation designated 2016 as the year of pulses to highlight their importance in curbing malnutrition. Hence to meet its demand of pulses India needs a long term strategic plan

Conclusion-

Rise in India’s economy as well as its population makes higher demand protein foods like pulses. Though Government has undertook many measures to meet the growing demands of pulses, but India lacks long term strategic plan. Hence it’s time for India to prepare strategic plan to meet its domestic demand of pulses and reduce the dependency on other countries.


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