Pulses are the cheapest source of protein for majority of Indian population. Though India is the largest producer of pulses, per capita pulses availability has declined from 60 grams per day in 1970 to 34 grams per day in 2010. WHO recommends per capita daily consumption of 80 grams of pulses. India therefore has been importing pulses in a big way to meet the protein needs of her population.
Pulses productivity in India at 694 kg per hectare in 2011-12 was significantly lower than pulses productivity achieved by many other countries which is well above 1200 Kg per hectare. It is also projected that India will need about 32 Million tons of pulses in 2030 against actual production of ~ 17 Million tons in 2011-12. Considering that the land under cultivation is limited, increasing productivity is the key to meet increased requirements of pulses.
Realising the urgent need for increasing pulses productivity for the country Rallis launched MoPu: Grow More Pulses Project in December 2009 from Pudukottai district of Tamil Nadu. Later on this project was extended to Karnataka, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh.
Under MoPu project Rallis workswith Agriculture department of State Governments by way of Public Private Partnershipfor Integrated Agriculture Development(PPP IAD) Projects. Under these projects Rallis work with identified number of farmers in select geographies for providing training, package of practice and scientific support in managing the entire crop cycle. Various activities under MoPuprogramme include providing education, trainings and knowledge to farmers on importance of fertilizers application on the basis of soil testing (integrated nutrient management (INM)), selection of improved and high yielding varieties, seed treatment and methods, role of Rhizobium and Phosphate Solubilizing Bacteria in pulses crop, Sowing methods based on soil, intercropping and selection of crop for intercropping, integrated pest management (IPM), harvesting methods, crop rotation, methods and importance of ridges and furrow, Broad Bed Furrows technique, methods of water management and conservation (Resource conservation technologies), importance of farmers groups and sharing of resources (Capacity building of the farmers) and finally providing market linkage to farmers with fair and transparent manner.
Detailed study on the benefits of pulses PPP IAD Project in Maharashtra was conducted by FICCI. As per FICCI report participating farmers saved 20 % on fertiliser cost and achieved a productivity gain of 35%.
Percentage increase in productivity
Source: FICCI Survey of MoPu project farmers