Pulses – Present Concerns and Long Term Solutions: Prof M S Swaminathan
Chennai, July 14, 2016: Recent bilateral initiatives with Mozambique and Myanmar for improving pulses availability are important to overcome domestic shortage. However, we have to look at long-term solutions to improve productivity and profitability of pulse crops in our country in the interest of nutrition and income security. The import of pulses is increasing and now exceeds 3.6 million tonnes. Pulses grown without irrigation and under low soil fertility conditions have average yields of about 500 kg/h. However crops like arhar (pigeon pea) grown in Australia from seeds obtained from India yield over 4 tonnes per hectare. MSSRF initiated the concept of Pulse Panchayats where all farmers in the Panchayat cooperate in rain water harvesting and efficient use, crop health management and safe storage and value addition to primary products. The first such Panchayat is in the Edaiyappatti village of Tamil Nadu. I hope such Panchayats will result in the origin and growth of pulse revolution symphonies, just as Seed Villages and National Demonstration did in the case of wheat fifty years ago. 2016 is the International Year of Pulses. Every crisis provides opportunity for overcoming the problem which led to the crisis. I hope 2016 marks the beginning of a Pulses Revolution.
M S Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) established in 1988 is a not-for-profit trust. MSSRF was envisioned and founded by Professor M S Swaminathan, agriculture scientist with proceeds from the First World Food Prize that he received in 1987.