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India’s pulse imports to rise this year

Barely a year after achieving self-sufficiency in 2018-19, India is going back to importing pulses due to massive Kharif crop damage and bleak prospects for rabi sowing of these protein-rich foods, following the long spell of unseasonal rainfalls in October and November.

Data compiled by the Union Ministry of Commerce & Industry showed India’s total pulse imports at 2.37 million tonnes for the financial year 2018-19, as compared to 5.37 million tonnes and 6.34 million tonnes during 2017-18 and 2016-17, respectively. For the five-month period between April and August this fiscal, India’s total pulses imports stood at 1.12 million tonnes.

The imported quantity of 2.37 million tonnes for the financial year 2018-19 gets offset by an almost equal quantity of pulses held by government agencies such as the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation (Nafed) and others. The government is currently sitting on a buffer stock of 800,000 tonnes of tur and 1.5 million tonnes of chana for market intervention in case prices escalate