Chennai, April 6 (IANS) The Indian government should allow at least the processing of imported raw pulses for export markets so that the domestic milling industry occupies the slots now occupied by units located in neighbouring and other countries, said an official of the industry association.
He also said that India should make pulses part of the public distribution system (PDS) so that the farmers get at least the minimum support price (MSP),
"India is the largest importer of pulses and our demand is to allow milling of imported raw pulses for exports. There will be value addition and earning of foreign exchange. Similarly farmers in India do not actively grow pulses due to price vagaries. So our demand is to bring pulses as part of PDS so that the government sources the pulses and the farmers get the minimum support price," Anurag Tulshan, coordinator - Eastern and North Eastern Region of India Pulses and Grains Association, told reporters here Friday.
He said the association is now interacting with the government closely on the issues faced by the sector. However, he agreed that the association is not talking with the governments - at the centre and states - to grow those varieties of pulses where the states enjoy a natural advantage rather than farming several varieties.
Tulshan was here to showcase the proposed four-day 'The 2012 Annual Global Pulses Convention' to be held in Dubai April 21-24 organised by the International Pulse Trade and Industry Confederation (IPTIC).
According to Sudhakar Tomar, honorary chair (communications & sponsorships), IPTIC, the pulses sold in the US and other overseas markets though branded with Indian names are actually processed in countries like Sri Lanka and others.
He said IPTIC is a global body comprising of over 12 national associations and 800 individual organisations engaged in pulses trade from over 50 countries.
Tomar said the global pulses trade size is around $100 billion in terms of value and 60 million tonnes in terms of volume.
"The production is flat/stagnant at 60 million tonnes in the recent times," he added.
According to him, if only the world reduces meat consumption by just 10 percent there will be opportunity to increase pulses production in a major way.
"The annual global meat consumption is around 300 million tonnes, and to feed that cattle population there should be 4.5 billion tonnes of agro crops," he said.
Speaking about the ensuing conference, Tomar said IPTIC expects around 1,000 delegates as compared to 800 who attended the previous year's edition.
He said delegates from over 600 companies from over 50 countries are expected to participate.
Tomar said the Dubai-based IPTIC is also announcing the launch of 2016 as the Year of Pulses in association with the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and United Nations.
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