Goyal lauds farmers' role as agricultural exports cross $50bn, pulses output rises 60%

New Delhi, Feb 15 (IANS) Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Piyush Goyal on Thursday praised the farmers of the country for the rise in production and quality of agriculture products that had made India self-sufficient in food and enabled the annual export of over $50 billion of agricultural and related products.

Addressing the NAFED: Pulse 2024 convention here, Goyal said that over the last decade, due to the commitment and capabilities of the farmers, pulses production has grown by 60 per cent from 171 lakh tonnes in 2014 to 270 lakh tonnes in 2024.

“The partnership between National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED) and Global Pulse Confederation (GPC) will continue to grow to make pulses not only India’s wonder-diet but to make the wonder-diet of the world,” Goyal remarked.

He said that the government-procured chana dal sold under the ‘Bharat’ brand has already captured 25 per cent of the market share of lentil gram within four months of its launch by the government. The Union Minister, further elaborated, that the high ratings Bharat Dal has received from customer reviews on various e-commerce sites demonstrates the farmers’ ability to produce high-quality pulses.

Goyal also said that over the last decade, government procurement of pulses has increased by 18 times.

He pointed out that in 2015, the government introduced buffer stock to ensure moderate prices and price stability shielding the consumers from food inflation that hit many countries including the developed world reeling from a 40-year high inflation.

“India was the bright spot with among the lowest inflation rates and has been able to reign in double digit inflation to 5-5.5 per cent in the last decade,” he added.

The minister said that the minimum support price (MSP) of agricultural goods today assures a price 50 per cent over the actual cost of production to our farmers, thereby providing an attractive return on investment.

He also said that the MSP is the highest today with increases as high as 117 per cent in Masoor, 90 per cent in Moong, 75 per cent more in chana dal, 60 per cent more in Toor and Urad over the amount provided a decade ago.

Goyal further said that NAFED and NCCF are encouraging farmers to diversify into pulses and lentils and are willing to provide assured prices for 5-year contracts for government procurement, a massive step for the Central government.

Goyal also stated that India is the largest producer and fifth largest exporter of millets in the world and the government is also putting similar focus on pulses and lentils as with millets and urged the industry leaders in attendance to provide suggestions and guidance to improve productivity and grow the pulse industry.



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