Cluster Frontline Demonstrations (CFLD) of Pulses for Nutrition Security in Manipur
Dr Lydia Zimik
India is the world's leading producer, consumer, and importer of pulses. Pulses occupy a major portion of the land planted to food grains and contribute significantly to the country's total food grain production. Numerous initiatives have been pioneered in the shape of several flagship programmes to bridge the gap between production and consumption and make the country self-sufficient, in light of the urgent need to boost pulse production to satisfy the ever-increasing demand of a burgeoning population.
Currently, pulse development programmes are carried out under the NFSM-Pulses Centrally Sponsored Schemes. The primary restrictions that have created a considerable difficulty in achieving the targeted goal are being recognised, and necessary steps are being taken to boost productivity and avoid crop loss. Indian agriculture, on the other hand, is completely reliant on the monsoon for adequate crop yields. Pulses are a valuable commodity group of food crops that can help to address National food and nutritional security while also addressing environmental concerns. Pulses are an important and economical source of plant-based proteins, vitamins, and minerals, accounting for 9-10% of the total food grain basket. Pulses are usually grown in rain-fed environments and do not require a lot of irrigation, which is why they are planted in regions that are left over after cereal/cash crop demand has been met. Pulses are also helps to increase soil fertility and structure.
India has the ability to produce a lot more pulses. Despite the fact that our population and demand for pulses has continually expanded, output has remained relatively constant.
There are numerous restrictions in the production process that lead to a decrease in output.
According to the vision 2030 of ICAR- Indian Institute of Pulse Research, Kanpur growth rate of 4.2% has to be ensured to meet the projected demand of 32 MT of pulse by 2030. In order to stabilise prices in the long run, it is necessary to enhance domestic production by removing the risks that farmers face when cultivating pulses. The newer technology have permeated numerous regions of the North Eastern region and are largely welcomed by the farming community, resulting in a multi fold rise in pulse production. Integrated Nutrient Management (INM), Integrated Pest Management (IPM), use of high yielding varieties, and pest control are some of the new age techniques that have been integrated into various farming practises to help increase the production and improve the quality of various pulses such as black gram, green gram, lentil, and field pea.
The need for more science-based technologies that increase production while lowering costs has been recognised, and efforts are already underway to lay the groundwork for cutting-edge research bolstered by appropriate and timely dissemination of scientific knowledge and technical know-how to the farming community. Agriculture has always been the backbone of India's economy. The cluster frontline demonstration programme is a critical step in popularising pulse farming.
(To be contd)