• Building on the success of International Year of Pulses (2016), UN General Assembly designated 10 February as World Pulses Day.
• Pulses, also known as legumes, are edible seeds of leguminous plants cultivated for food. Pigeon peas, green beans, Chick peas, Red Kidney Beans etc are major pulses grown and consumed in India.
Why Pulses are important?
• Pulses are rich in iron, potassium, protein and fibre. Also, they have low fat, sodium and glycaemic index.
• Their ability to fix nitrogen makes them low water and low carbon footprint crop.
• Can be easily grown in dry and rain-fed areas.
• India is the largest producer (23.62% of global production), consumer and importer of pulses in the world. Major pulses producing states are MP, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, UP, Karnataka.
• To reach self-sufficiency, India needs to harvest about 30 million tonnes (mt) of raw pulses, whereas current output is only 22-24 mt.
• Pulses cultivation in India face challenges such as farming on marginal lands, dependence on monsoon, lack of irrigation, lack of breakthrough in seed technology.
Mains Paper 2: International
Prelims level: World Pulses Day
Mains level: Significance of pulses crops