India Pulses and Grains Association (IPGA), the nodal body for India’s pulses trade and industry have announced that the 5th edition of The Pulses Conclave (TPC 2020), their biennial global pulses conference will be held from February, 12 – 14, 2020 at Amby Valley City in Lonavala, Maharashtra. IPGA expects close to 1500 trade stakeholders from India and key pulses exporting countries like USA, Australia, Canada, Myanmar, Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania, Mozambique, Malawi among other pulse producing countries are expected to participate in the conclave.
The Pulses Conclave 2020, as a part of its agenda will not just discuss increasing domestic production and consumption but will also bring to fore other areas of the trade like improving processing efficiencies, increasing consumption, exports, value addition, protein extraction, post-harvest crop management among other related issues of pulses value chain.
Speaking on the occasion, Jitu Bheda, Chairman – IPGA said, “India’s pulses production has steadily grown every year from around 19 million tonnes in 2013-14 to 23 million tonnes in 2018-19 and the target for 2019-20 is of 26.30 million tonnes. IPGA’s agenda and roadmap going forward will be to encourage its members to take advantage of the increased domestic production, balance imports vis-à-vis the production and demand thereby ensuring that Indian consumer neither face any availability crunch nor high retail prices.”
“In recent years, there was a deflation in food prices that has brought the overall consumer price index down, leading to a crisis for farmers. When the prices of agricultural commodities are globally low, India’s export in the sector is not so impressive. To make matters worse, the wholesale price index of food items is lower than the agricultural inputs for most years for key reason in the cost of inputs such as irrigation, electricity, pesticides and fertilisers. Therefore, the Government will have to keep a close eye on the production, demand and availability to ensure that farmers get the right price and pulses remain available and affordable for consumers,” Bheda added.
Highlighting the conclave agenda, Pradeep Ghorpade, Chief Executive Officer, IPGA said, “The conclave programme typically is built around dissemination of global and domestic pulses production numbers, global and domestic prices and supply and demand scenarios. However, at TPC 2020, while covering these aspects of the trade, IPGA is looking to go beyond and IPGA’s focus, by the end of the conclave, will be to try and put together a roadmap that will help the Indian Pulses Trade.”
Pulses are the key source of proteins in India and IPGA believes that apart from addressing the availability of pulses ensuring affordability of pulses is equally important. The Indian government needs to work to create a plan that allows both farmers and consumers to be benefited. IPGA will be engaging with the government to pursue the inclusion of pulses in the public distribution system (PDS) to make the affordable for the below poverty line (BPL) population, leading to an increase in demand and drive increase in production.