India, known for its rich diversity and culinary traditions, has been actively seeking solutions to meet the growing demand for Pulses within its borders. To diversify its sources, India is eyeing a potential deal with Brazil for importing Pulses, particularly varieties like Toor (Pigeon Pea) and Urad (Black Gram).
This year alone, India has imported a substantial 2.13 million tons of Pulses. The breakdown includes:
Notably, these imports predominantly come from countries like:
India has already taken steps to secure its Pulses supply chain by signing Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) with Mozambique, Malawi, and Myanmar. These agreements ensure a steady import of Pulses, contributing to India’s efforts to reduce dependence on a few specific countries.
In a recent development, India has approached Brazil with the proposal of a similar deal. Brazilian officials from the agriculture ministry were visited by Indian counterparts, urging them to explore the possibility of growing Toor and Urad varieties for export to India. Brazil’s favourable weather conditions make it conducive for the cultivation of these Pulses.
The move to collaborate with Brazil is part of India’s broader strategy to diversify its sources of Pulses imports. With domestic consumption relatively small, there is potential for Brazil to play a crucial role in meeting India’s demand for Urad and Toor.
India’s quest for Pulse sustainability extends beyond Brazil. The country is also exploring opportunities to grow Pulses in Ethiopia and Tanzania. This proactive approach aims to boost domestic supplies and further reduce import dependence.
Despite achieving a record Pulse production of 26.05 million tons in the 2022-23 crop year, a significant gap persists between demand and supply within India. Chana (Gram) contributes 50% to the record production, while the country has historically been self-sufficient in Chana and Moong varieties of Pulses.
Recognizing the importance of maintaining a stable Pulses market, the Indian government has taken steps such as abolishing import duties on three varieties of pulses: Toor, Lentil, and Urad. These measures aim at curbing price hikes resulting from domestic shortfalls in production. Approximately 15% of domestic Pulse consumption is currently met through imports.
India’s proactive approach in seeking Pulse import agreements reflects a commitment to securing the nation’s food security and addressing the nutritional needs of its citizens. Diversifying sources, exploring collaborations with countries like Brazil, and encouraging domestic production showcase a multifaceted strategy to bridge the demand-supply gap.
These initiatives not only address immediate concerns but also contribute to the long-term resilience of India’s Pulses market. As the nation actively engages with global partners, the outlook for a more secure and diverse Pulses market appears promising.