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Pulses Production in Semi-Arid Regions of India: Constraints and Opportunities

D. Sharma and N. S. Jodha
Economic and Political Weekly
Vol. 17, No. 52 (Dec. 25, 1982), pp. A135-A137+A139-A148
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4371699
Page Count: 13
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Pulses Production in Semi-Arid Regions of India: Constraints and Opportunities
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Abstract

Pulse production in India is characterised by diversity of crops and their regional specificity based on adaptation to prevailing agroclimatic conditions. Pulses as a group can utilise limited soil moisture and nutrients more efficiently than cereal crops and for that reason farmers have chosen them to grow under highly adverse conditions. The process of differential resource allocation to pulse crops operates at agro-ecological niche allocation and at individual farmers level, out of necessity, and not out of choice or preference. At present more than 92 per cent of the area under pulses is confined to unirrigated areas, and in future the bulk of pulse production will continue to come from unirrigated areas. Therefore, any plan for increasing pulse production in the country should be based on a long-term approach for improved productivity of these crops under rainfed farming conditions rather than on the use of high inputs. Crop productivity comparisons made under unirrigated conditions between pulses and cereals do not support the general belief that pulses suffer from inherent low productivity. Rather the low productivity of pulses is due to the low input conditions associated with the complex socio-economic and agroclimatic problems of rainfed agriculture. Long neglect of rainfed areas has resulted in poor institutional development and, therefore, there is considerable lag in developing strong traditions of scientific thinking and research, and training of scientists to work in these areas. This para deals in detail with agroclimatic, socio-economic and biological constraints of pulse production and gaps in transfer of technology in rainfed areas.

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