To address pulses crisis, govt to release new arhar variety in Jan
In a major move aimed at addressing the shortage of pulses particularly arhar, the government is ready to release a new arhar variety in January. The government is hoping that the new variety, which will mature in just 4 months instead of 6-9 months, would help in bridging on the rise demand and supply gap.
The Pusa 16 variety is a semi-dwarf variety suitable for combine harvesting. Its yield levels are in the range of 15-20 quintals per hectare, which is same as the existing varieties.
According to Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, the early maturing arhar dal variety would be released in January for commercial cultivation that will help in achieving self-sufficiency in pulses over the next three years.
Pulses production in India is lower than the demand of 23-24 million tonne (MT). The output had fallen in the last two years due to the drought which sent the prices through the roof, forcing the government to take several measures to check inflation in pulses.
“We will put this new arhar variety (Pusa 16) for commercial use soon. Once we put for commercial use, certainly it will have great impact,” Jaitley told reporters after visiting the experimental plot of new arhar variety in the IARI complex here.
Addressing the National Unity Day organised by IARI to mark birth anniversary of Sardar Patel, the Finance Minister said, “It has been the endaveour of our government in the last two years to financially incentives pulses cultivation in a manner that production increases and it is evident this year.”
Stating that there has been special concern about pulses in the government in last two years, Jaitley said, “The reason being that it is the main protein in our diet. We are not only the largest producer but also the biggest consumer and importer. So, there is shortage here. The new arhar variety would bring benefit to the whole country.”
Explaining about Pusa 16, Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh said, “This new variety would be released for commercial cultivation in January and would be available for sowing in the Kharif 2017 season. This will help make the country self-sufficiency in next three years.”