Pulse weekly outlook: India aims to boost production

A chickpea crop in India. (Nikhil Patil/iStock/Getty Images)

MarketsFarm — The window of opportunity for Canadian pulses to be exported to India may rapidly be closing, according to a recent announcement from India’s agriculture minister.

At a World Pulses Day event on Monday, Narendra Singh Tomar said the country is on track to self-sufficiency. Last year, the country consumed about 27 million tonnes of pulses; of that, about 85 per cent was produced domestically. The gap was filled via imports.

Production levels will have to be boosted considerably in order to bridge that gap in years to come. India’s government forecasts pulse production of 26.3 million tonnes in the upcoming growing year.

“We faced huge shortages of pulses earlier, but that situation has improved,” Tomar said.

That will be largely contingent on monsoon patterns, which are key to the growing season.

Cindy Brown, president of the Global Pulse Confederation, said climate change and shifting weather patterns will pose a significant challenge to India’s plans.

During the first nine months of 2019, Canada exported just over 545,000 tonnes of lentils to India, despite hefty import tariffs put in place by the Indian government.

Those Canadian imports were largely due to unpredictably unseasonal monsoon rains that brought turmoil to India’s growing season.

— Marlo Glass reports for MarketsFarm in Winnipeg.

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