A special programme to achieve more than 19 million tonne pulse production has been launched in the presentkharif season. The kharif production in the past two years has been hovering around 18 million tonnes. To meet the growing demand, stabilized and increased production of pulses is necessary especially as the pulses crops are taken in rainfed areas with little irrigation.
The programme aims to increase pulses crop area by promotion of intercrops apart from promoting dry land agriculture techniques like in situ moisture conservation. Three crops – pigeon pea (arhar), green gram (moong) and black gram (urad) – have been selected for this programme.
The focus of the special programme is on inter-cropping of pulse crops over other crops during kharif, and accelerating productivity through adoption of innovative technologies relating to plan nutrition and water use.
The programme will promote planting of pigeon pea with groundnut, soyabean or cotton. Similarly, emphasis will be on inter-cropping moong/urad with maize, jowar or bajra.
Since use of innovative technologies will be very important for raising productivity of these pulse crops, research institutes, fertiliser cooperatives (IFFCO and KRIBHCO) and private companies engaged in micro irrigation and production of special nutrients are being involved in the programme. SFAC (Small Farmers’ Agri-Business Consortium) will help in forming farmer groups so help small farmers in utilising technologies and implements at less cost.