Odisha needs short duration pulse seeds variety

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Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government today said it requires better fertiliser and short-duration seed variety of arhar and moong to fit to local cropping system as the state finds it difficult to meet annual requirement of about 12 lakh tonne of pulses.

The state government has set a target to produce 13 lakh tonne of pulses by 2018-19 against its present annual requirement of 12 lakh tonne of pulses of different varieties.

Agriculture & Farmers’ Empowerment Secretary Manoj Ahuja said this while addressing a workshop on ‘Strategising Pulses Production in Rice Fallow areas in Eastern India’.

“Biotic and abiotic constraints, crop loss due to pest attack, physiological limitations, lack of quality seeds, bio-fertilizers and irrigation facilities are some of the key constraints in pulses production in Odisha. We are trying to enhance production by addressing the difficulties in a phased manner,” Ahuja said.

Though pulses are grown in about 2 million hectares of land, the productivity in the state is only 508 kg/hectare.

The production in Odisha was much below the national average of 744 kg/hectares in 2014-15. While the state required around 12 lakh tonnes of pulses annually, it produced only 9.42 lakh tonnes in 2015-16, creating a deficit of 21.8 per cent.

Union Agriculture Secretary S K Pattanayak highlighted the importance of rice fallows and the scope they offer in bringing a new revolution in pulses cultivation which would boost the economic conditions of farmers.

“India is the largest producer, largest consumer and the largest importer of pulses in the world. Many countries like Canada, Mozambique and Australia are looking forward to supply pulses to India but we have to be self-sufficient in production and reduce dependence on others,” Pattanayak said.

Director General of Indian Council of Agricultural Research, Dr Trilochan Mohapatra, also stressed on the scope and possibilities for increasing cultivation of pulses.

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