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Narendra Singh Tomar inaugurates UN world pulses day celebrations

NEW DELHI: National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED) in collaboration with Global Pulse Confederation (GPC) observed February 10 as “UN World Pulses Day”. The United Nations General Assembly has designated this day for the promotion of pulses across the globe.

On the occasion, the Union Minister for Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Narendra Singh Tomar launched the ‘Family pack of NAFED pulses and NAFED Organic pulses. A NAFED Coffee Table Book, recording its journey since inception on 2nd October, 1958 to the present and an FAO publication “Global Economy of Pulses” were also launched. The inaugural session was followed by four sessions devoted to the need of enhanced production and consumption of pulses for nutrition, investment in the supply chain of pulses and the need of value addition as well as the outlook of pulses globally with emphasis on India.

Inaugurating the event, Minister said “government initiatives in increasing pulses production in the country yielded positive results and they are committed to provide remunerative prices to farmers for the produce. Government’s aim is to make India a surplus country in terms of pulses production.  Primary focus given to the sector is seen from the budgetary allocations made for the Agriculture and Rural Development sector which is about Rs. 3 lakh crore. While the Agriculture sector budget was Rs.27 thousand crore couple of years ago, Government has also allocated over Rs. 1.5 lakh crore in FY 2020-21.”

He further added “after having achieved surplus food grains production, the country has turned self-sufficient in Pulses cultivation since 2016-17 with the combined efforts of all stakeholders following the directions of the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. In the crop year 2018-19 India produced 22 million tonnes of Pulses and for the next year a target of 26.30 million tonnes is projected.”

He mentioned that in order to ensure proper value for the produce, government has raised the MSP by one-and-a-half times based on recommendations of the Swaminathan Committee. eNAM has been strengthened with a view of One Nation One Market which has provided farmers access to better and wider market area ensuring a fair price. Already 585 Mandis have joined the eNAM portal and another 400 Mandis will be added soon. To strengthen the logistics associated with the Agriculture sector, a new Kisan Rail has been announced in this budget which will benefit both the Agriculture and Horticulture sectors. To promote exports of fruits from the North-East, the KisanUdanYojana has been announced in the budget.

He Congratulated NAFED for taking a lead in organizing the World Pulses Day event and said the government has procured 63 lakh tonnes of Pulses in the last five years, benefitting lakhs of farmers.

Addressing the event Dr. Ramesh Chand, Member NITIAayog said “the biggest role in increasing pulses production is to be played by country’s R&D, as technology is the major driving force in increased production than the price factor. Citing serialization of Indian diet post-Green Revolution for several nutritional issues in the country and in order to address these concerns we need to look into the past of pulses cultivation and consumption patterns.”

The Tripura Minister for Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs, ManojKanti Deb, Global Pulses Confederation Chairperson Ms. Cindy Brown, NAFED Chairman Dr. Bijender Singh and representatives from various countries and officials of Central and State Governments and people associated with pulses production and sales graced the event.

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