Good morning. I warmly welcome you all on this opening day of Pulses Conclave 2020. This is the fifth edition of the conclave and is being eagerly look forward to by trade stakeholders. I welcome MR. DAVID MARIT Hon’ble Minister of Agriculture Govt of Saskatchewan, Canada and Mr. Rick Burton, Dy Minister Agriculture Govt of Saskatchewan, Canada. As we all know Canada has been a long-standing partner of India in the Pulses trade; a special thanks to Ms. Cindy Brown, President Global Pulses Confederation. The presence of dignitaries mark the importance of Pulses Trade in India and India as a major player in the Global Pulses Trade.
I am also heartened to see large number of international guests who have come from various parts of the world despite recent travel scare on account of Corona virus. Thank you all.
India, as we all know, has unique distinction of being the largest producer, consumer and importer of pulses in the world. In India, pulses are cultivated on approximately 25 million hectares. India however finds itself short of Pulses due to low average yields on production side and large consumption with pulses being main source of protein.
Between 2013 and 2016 India’s annual pulses production varied between 16 to 19 million tons necessitating import in the range of 3.5 to 6 million tons. During 2015/16, pulses production fell to 16 million tons against consumption of about 23 million tons, this led to record import of 5.57 million tons. Since then the Government of India has taken measures of increasing Minimum support price, procurement by government agencies to create buffer stock and increase in import duty which have yielded positive results. Area under pulse cultivation has expanded and production in recent years has reached 23 million tons. Imports have dropped to 2/2.5 million tons.
Having said this, the fact remains that much of pulses production in India is rain fed and hence subject to weather vagaries. Frequent short supplies of pulses of a particular kind and consequent price spurts cannot be ruled out. We have already experienced this recently in case of Urad (Black Matpe) and Moong Beans.
It is therefore important that the government policies strike balance between farmer and consumer interest and actions are flexible enough to react to ground realities swiftly. We are pleased that IPGA has earned recognition and respect with the government and gets attentive ears of decision makers. We will continue to engage with key Ministries to discuss various initiatives to devise and implement pragmatic programs.
As for our international friends, we do realize difficulties faced by them when we as the largest importer country curtail imports by more than 50% within a short span of couple of years. However, as we all are aware in today’s world order, we have seen such happening with other commodities in different parts of the world and will have to live up to changing trade balances.
In this year’s Conclave, while concentrating on the India and global pulses scenario, we have interesting presentations focusing on pulses research in India, Health benefits of pulses, product innovation etc. I sincerely wish for active participation from all of you. Please feel free to ask questions and express your views in the time given after each session.
Lastly on behalf of IPGA and Pulse trade in India I assure the government that we are with you in your endeavor of increasing Pulse production by improved farm practices , yield enhancement and doubling the framer’s income by 2022.
I am sure besides attending the conclave, in your spare time you will venture out to explore this beautiful venue in the picturesque valley rested in the Sahyadri mountain range and make the event fruitful and memorable. Enjoy the Conclave ! Enjoy the stay !