Pulses industry body IPGA has demanded that the government should supply pulses through ration shops to provide better price realisation to farmers and ensure the country's nutritional security.
India Pulses and Grains Association (IPGA) has written a letter to Consumer Affairs Ministry seeking inclusion of pulses in the Public Distribution System (PDS) as this would have a beneficial impact on India's farm sector and economy.
Under the National Food Security Law, the Centre provides 5 kg of highly subsidised wheat and rice per month at Rs 2-3 per kg to over 80 crore people, costing exchequer about Rs 1.4 lakh crore annually.
"IPGA strongly recommends for inclusion of pulses in PDS which would have a salutary effect on demand supply disparities, seasonal deficiency and better price stabilisation all year round -- building a case of adequate supply leading to nutritional security for the country," the association said in the letter.
India produced a record 22.95 million tonnes of pulses in the 2016-17 crop year (July-June), which is almost equal to domestic demand.
The country imported about 5 million tonnes of pulses last fiscal, but now the government has restricted imports due to bumper production and low realisation to farmers.
Listing out the benefits for supplying pulses via ration shops, IPGA said this would act as an incentive for the farmers as the government procurement will ensure appropriate price realisation.
"With farmers earning improving, they will be keen on adopting more advanced techniques and better quality seeds that will help them meet the demand of pulses," it said.
IPGA said if the government starts supplying pulses under PDS, the lower income group population would be able to consume pulses, helping improve the nation's nutritional security.
"WHO recommends 80 gram of protein per person per day.
This would mean that every household (generally consisting of 4 people) should consume 3.84 kg of pulses a month. India as of 2015-16, consumes not even half that amount," the letter said.
(This article has not been edited by Zeebiz editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)