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SELECTBIO Conferences Next Gen Crops for Sustainable Agriculture


Achieving Self-Sufficiency in Pulses Production through Crop Improvement and Good Agronomic Practices

Sushil K Chaturvedi, , ICAR Indian Institute of Pulses Research

Pulses are known for providing nutritional security to largely vegetarian people besides having role in improving soil health and environment. More than a dozen pulses viz., chickpea, pigeonpea, urdbean, mungbean, lentil, pea, rajmash, lathyrus, mothbean, horsegram, cowpea, rice bean etc. are grown in India on about 28-29 m ha area. This area is largely spreaded in 10 major states namely Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh, which together contributes more than 95% to the total pulses production. India is the largest producer and consumer of pulses. During last three Five Year Plan periods country has witnessed increase in pulses production. The synergies harnessed of technologies developed by ICAR, Indian National Agricultural Research and Education System (NARES) and International Institutes, positive policy support from Government and favourable weather  led in dramatic increase in pulses output in India as pulses production reached to 23.13 m t in 2016-17 and 24.51 m t in 2017-18 as per 3rd advance production estimates  which is higher by 1.37 m t than the pulses production of 2016-17 and by 5.66 m t more than the last five years' pulses production average. The ever highest production of chickpea (11.16 m t), urdbean (3.28 m t) and lentil (1.51 m t) contributed towards additional production of pulses in comparison to previous years. The contribution of National Food security Mission (NFSM) in achieving ever highest production of pulses needs acknowledgements.
Govt. of India has supported establishment of Seed-Hubs for ensuring quality seed supply of pulses which is most critical input in enhancing productivity and production of crops. Sincere efforts led in development and release of 195 high yielding varieties of different pulses including minor pulses during last 10 years. Some of these varieties of chickpea, lentil, mungbean, urdbean, pigeonpea and pea are early maturing and thus suitable for cultivation in non-traditional areas/seasons and as part of intensive or multiple cropping systems. Their role in sustaining productivity of agricultural production base by maintaining the soil fertility and improving soil health need credit. Development of varieties having with multiple adversities resistance/tolerance for bringing desired yield stability remain one of the important major objective of most of the crop breeding programs. The commendable progress has been made in exploitation of host plant resistance and as a result more than 235 high yielding varieties of different pulses insulated against major diseases have been developed and are in seed chain. To quote, for all growing areas of the country wilt resistant varieties of chickpea and powdery mildew resistant varieties of pea are now available. In recent years, breeders are able to develop varieties having consumers' and farmers' preferred traits like large and extra-large seeded kabuli chickpea varieties (Shubhra, Ujjawal, KAK 2, Pusa Chamatkar, HK 2, MNK 1, PKV kabuli 4-1, Phule G 0517),  lentil (IPL 406, JL 3, IPL 316), green seeded fieldpea (IPFD 10-12), green seeded urdbean (Shekhar 1, Shekhar 2) were released. For example, cultivation of large/extra-large seeded kabuli chickpea played significant role in enhancing farmers' income and country has started exporting it as 87.91 thousand tonnes chickpea was exported during 2016-17 to Pakistan (21.6%), U Arab EMTS (10.6%), Algeria (11.6%), Saudi Arab (9.5%), Sri Lanka (7.3%).  More recently, to reduce coast of cultivation and increase mechanization, chickpea varieties (Phule Vikram, NBeG 47, GBM 2, HC 5 etc.) suitable for combine harvesting have been developed and becoming popular.  Besides, improved seed, crop production technologies play an important role in increasing production and productivity. Several good agronomic practices developed in past need to be integrated with newer one

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