The fourth advance estimates of agricultural production released by the government Monday indicated that India produced a record 18.45 million tonnes of pulses last year (2012-13),surpassing its previous record of 18.24 million tonnes in 2010-11. In 2011-12,the output was 17.09 million tonnes.
The pulses output of the last three years is far better than the below-15 million tonnes pulses output in previous years. This holds significance in the wake of the rising protein demand. In India,pulses form the major source of protein for vegetarians.
With an estimated annual consumption of about 21 million tonnes of pulses,India has been meeting the shortfall through imports.
The jump in the pulses output has the potential of reducing the import burden.
However,the annual foodgrain production in the last crop season (ending June 2013) fell marginally to 255.36 million tonnes as against 259.32 million tonnes recorded in the previous season (July 2011-June 2012). Agriculture ministry officials blamed this on the drought in parts of the
country Maharasthra,Karnataka and Rajasthan last year.
The wheat output has been pegged at 92.46 million tonnes,which is lower than the record output of 94.88 million tonnes in 2011-12. The rice output has been pegged at 104.4 million tonnes while it was a record 105.31 million tonnes the previous year.
The monsoon this year,however,has raised hopes of a bumper crop this year.