Pulses Crops Production in India - FeraxFarm

The whole world grows around 93.18 million hectares of pulses, producing about 89.82 million tonnes at an average yield of 964 kilograms per hectare. India, Pulse crops production in India covers more than 28 million hectares.

India holds the title of the biggest pulse producer globally, claiming the top spot with 31% in cultivation area and 28% in production. In the 2020-21 period, India’s pulses productivity reached 885 kg/ha, marking a significant increase over the past five years.

Even though pulses are cultivated in both Kharif and Rabi seasons, over 60% of the total production comes from Rabi pulses. Pulses, consumed as Dal, valued for their health properties. Additionally, by-products like leaves, pod coats, and bran serve as dry fodder for animals.

Dal-pulses production in India

Major Pulses Producing States in India

Major pulses producers in India

Significance of Pulses Crops for the Economy and Nutrition

Pulse crops hold paramount importance in the Indian context, playing a pivotal role in both the economy and nutrition. Economically, pulses production in India contribute significantly to India’s agriculture sector, providing livelihoods to millions of farmers.

These crops enhance soil fertility through nitrogen fixation, benefiting subsequent crops and promoting sustainable farming practices.

From a nutritional standpoint, pulses are a staple in the Indian diet, offering a rich source of protein, fiber, and essential minerals. As a cost-effective protein alternative, pulses contribute to combating malnutrition and addressing food security challenges.

Their versatility in various traditional dishes makes them accessible and culturally integral to Indian cuisine. Moreover, pulses help in managing chronic diseases like diabetes and heart conditions due to their low glycemic index and cholesterol-lowering properties.

The cultivation and consumption of pulse crops foster agricultural sustainability, economic stability, and improved public health in India.

Types of Pulse in India

Pulses crops production in India hold significant importance in India, playing a pivotal role in agriculture and contributing substantially to the nation’s economy. These crops not only provide essential nutrition but also generate considerable financial gains through a substantial share in the country’s export market.

The export of pulses adds a crucial dimension to India’s agricultural sector, reinforcing its economic significance on both domestic and international fronts. Different types pulses cultivated in India are:

Chickpeas (Gram)

A popular legume in India, chickpeas, locally known as gram, thrive in the Rabi season (winter). With a significant presence in Indian agriculture, chickpeas are a vital source of protein and fiber, contributing substantially to the country’s pulse production.

Pigeon Pea (Tur or Arhar/Red Gram)

Pigeon pea, locally called tur or arhar, is a major pulse crop in India. Cultivated during the Kharif season (summer), it holds a crucial place in Indian agriculture, providing a source of protein and nutrients to the population.

Moong Beans

Moong beans, cultivated in both Kharif and Rabi seasons, are a nutritious pulse crop in India. With a short growing season, moong beans play a significant role in enhancing soil fertility and supporting the country’s agricultural economy.

Urad (Black Matpe)

Urad, commonly known as black matpe, is cultivated predominantly during the Kharif season. Widely used in Indian cuisine, urad is a key pulse crop, contributing to the country’s agricultural landscape and serving as a source of protein for the population.

Masur (Lentil)

Masur, or lentils, are grown in the Rabi season across India. This pulse crop holds substantial importance, contributing significantly to both the nutritional needs of the population and the overall pulse production in the country.

Dolichos Bean

Dolichos beans, cultivated in India, thrive in both Kharif and Rabi seasons. This versatile legume holds importance in Indian agriculture, serving as a source of nutrition and income for farmers, and is an integral part of traditional dishes.

Dry Beans

Dry beans, encompassing varieties like navy beans and pinto beans, are cultivated in India, primarily during the Rabi season. These beans play a crucial role in enhancing soil health, providing a dietary staple, and contributing substantially to the country’s agricultural landscape.

Faba Beans

Faba beans, grown in India during the Rabi season, are a significant pulse crop. With their nitrogen-fixing properties, faba beans contribute to soil fertility and are an essential part of crop rotation, ensuring sustainable agricultural practices.

Also Read: Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare

Field Peas

Field peas, cultivated during the Rabi season, are integral to Indian agriculture. These peas are a valuable source of protein, and their cultivation aids in maintaining soil fertility, making them a vital component in India’s agricultural economy.


Lentils, a staple in Indian cuisine, are primarily grown during the Rabi season. This legume plays a significant role in Indian agriculture, contributing to soil fertility and providing an essential protein source for the population. Lentils are a crucial component of diverse Indian dishes, reflecting their cultural and nutritional importance.

Bambara Beans

Bambara beans, cultivated in India, thrive in the Kharif season. As a resilient and drought-tolerant legume, they contribute to sustainable agriculture, offering both food security and economic benefits for farmers in specific regions.

Lima Beans

Lima beans, grown mainly during the Kharif season in India, are a valuable source of protein. With their cultivation influencing soil health positively, lima beans contribute significantly to both the agricultural economy and the nutritional needs of the population.


Lupins, grown during the Rabi season, are an essential pulse crop in India. These legumes contribute to soil fertility through nitrogen fixation, supporting sustainable farming practices. Lupins are also integral to crop rotation strategies, enhancing the overall productivity of Indian agriculture.


Soybeans, predominantly cultivated during the Kharif season, are a major player in Indian agriculture. This versatile legume is a key source of protein, edible oil, and animal feed, contributing substantially to both the country’s economy and nutritional requirements.

Velvet Bean

Velvet beans, grown in India during the Kharif season, are a valuable legume. With their ability to improve soil fertility and resist pests, velvet beans play a crucial role in sustainable agriculture while providing an additional protein source for the local population.

Bengal Gram (Desi Chickpea / Desi Chana)

Bengal Gram, known as Desi Chickpea or Desi Chana, is a vital pulse crop in India. Primarily grown during the Rabi season, it holds cultural significance and is a key ingredient in various Indian dishes. Bengal Gram contributes substantially to the country’s pulse production, supporting both the agricultural economy and dietary needs.

Black Matpe (Urad / Mah / Black Gram)

Black Matpe, known as Urad or Mah, is grown predominantly during the Kharif season in India. This pulse crop is a staple in Indian cuisine, contributing significantly to the agricultural landscape and serving as a valuable source of protein for the population.

Red Kidney Beans (Rajma)

Red Kidney Beans, commonly known as Rajma, are cultivated in India during the Rabi season. A key ingredient in North Indian cuisine, Rajma is a major contributor to the country’s pulse production and plays a crucial role in providing essential nutrients to the population.

Black Eyed Peas (Lobiya), Lentils (Masoor)

Black Eyed Peas, or Lobiya, and Lentils, known as Masoor, are grown during the Kharif and Rabi seasons in India. These legumes are integral to Indian agriculture, contributing to soil fertility and serving as vital sources of protein in the local diet.

White Peas (Matar)

White Peas, known as Matar, are cultivated during the Rabi season in India. This pulse crop is a significant contributor to the country’s agricultural economy, providing a versatile ingredient for various dishes and fulfilling the protein needs of the population.

Green Beans (Moong Beans)

Moong Beans, a staple in Indian agriculture, thrive in both Kharif and Rabi seasons. With a short growing cycle, they enhance soil fertility, contributing significantly to sustainable farming. Moong Beans play a vital role in pulse production, supporting the country’s agricultural economy and providing a key protein source for the population.

Chickpeas (Kabuli Chana)

Kabuli Chana, a prominent pulse crop in India, is cultivated primarily during the Rabi season. Renowned for its versatility in traditional dishes, it significantly contributes to pulse production. Its resilience to diverse climates and compatibility with crop rotations make Kabuli Chana a crucial part of sustainable agricultural practices, supporting both livelihoods and nutrition across India.

Pulse Crop Production Statistics

As of the latest available data, India continues to be a major producer of pulse crops. The country boasts impressive production figures, with a diverse range of pulses contributing to its agricultural output.

Popular pulses like chickpeas, lentils, and mung beans play a significant role in shaping these statistics. The exact production numbers may vary based on the specific pulse varieties and regional variations, but collectively, pulses are a crucial part of India’s agricultural landscape.

Growth Trends Over the Past Few Years

In recent years, there has been a noticeable upward trend in pulse crop production in India. Various factors, including government initiatives, technological advancements, and increased awareness of the nutritional benefits of pulses, have contributed to this growth.

Farmers adopting modern agricultural practices and the promotion of pulse cultivation as part of sustainable farming have further fueled the positive trajectory. This upward trend not only signifies the resilience of pulse crops but also highlights their enduring importance in Indian agriculture.

Agricultural Practices

Pulses crops production in India is deeply intertwined with traditional agricultural practices that have been passed down through generations. Farmers across the country follow age-old techniques, often rooted in indigenous wisdom.

Manual sowing and harvesting remain prevalent, emphasizing the hands-on approach of Indian farmers. While modern technologies are slowly making inroads, many continue to rely on traditional methods, employing oxen and simple hand tools for cultivation.

Common Cultivation Methods for Pulse Crops

Indian farmers employ various cultivation methods for pulses, adapting to diverse agro-climatic zones. Broadly, traditional intercropping is widely practiced, where pulses are grown alongside other crops like cereals.

This not only optimizes land use but also enhances soil fertility through natural nitrogen fixation. The practice of relay cropping, where one pulse crop follows another in quick succession, helps maximize yield and ensures continuous production throughout the year.

Additionally, organic farming practices are gaining popularity, with farmers utilizing natural fertilizers and pest control methods.

Seasonal Variations and Their Impact on Production

Seasonal variations play a crucial role in pulse cultivation, impacting production patterns across India. The Kharif season, spanning June to October, witnesses the cultivation of pulses like pigeon pea and green gram, benefiting from monsoon rains.

The Rabi season, from November to April, is suitable for crops like chickpeas and lentils. However, unpredictable weather events, such as untimely rains or droughts, can significantly affect production.

Farmers often face the challenge of adjusting their cultivation strategies based on these seasonal variations, showcasing the resilience and adaptability inherent in traditional Indian agricultural practices. Overall, a delicate balance between age-old techniques and emerging technologies defines the pulse cultivation landscape in India.

Challenges in Pulse Crop Production

Pulse crop production in India faces multifaceted challenges that impact yield and sustainability. Limited access to quality seeds, coupled with a lack of awareness about improved agricultural practices, remains a significant hurdle for many farmers.

The volatility of pulse prices in the market also poses financial uncertainties, dissuading some from engaging in pulse cultivation. Moreover, the reliance on traditional farming methods without adequate mechanization hampers efficiency and productivity.

Pests and Diseases Affecting Pulse Crops

Pulses crop production in India are susceptible to various pests and diseases that can devastate yields if not managed effectively. Common pests include pod borers, aphids, and mites, while diseases like wilt and blight can lead to significant crop losses.

Traditional pest control methods, such as neem-based solutions, are widely used, but there is a growing need for awareness and adoption of integrated pest management strategies to mitigate the impact of pests and diseases on pulse crops.

Weather-Related Challenges and Their Solutions

Weather plays a pivotal role in pulse crop production, and unpredictable patterns can pose significant challenges. Excessive rainfall during harvesting seasons can lead to waterlogging and damage crops, while drought conditions can stunt growth.

Farmers often employ resilient crop varieties and engage in proper water management practices, including rainwater harvesting and efficient irrigation, to address these challenges.

Additionally, the adoption of climate-smart agricultural techniques, such as crop rotation and diversification, helps mitigate the impact of weather-related uncertainties on pulse production.

Despite these challenges, the resilience of Indian farmers and their ability to adapt traditional knowledge to modern solutions contribute to the ongoing efforts to enhance pulse crop production in the country.

Sustainable Practices

Sustainable practices form the bedrock of pulse production in India, emphasizing a harmonious balance between agriculture and environmental preservation. Across the vast agricultural landscape, farmers employ methods aimed at minimizing environmental impact.

These practices include natural fertilization, crop rotation, and intercropping. Manual weed removal and the integration of livestock in farming further contribute to the sustainability of pulse cultivation.

Organic Farming in Pulse Cultivation

The adoption of organic farming practices in pulse cultivation is gaining momentum in India. Organic methods involve eschewing synthetic fertilizers and pesticides in favor of natural alternatives, fostering soil health and biodiversity.

Farmers increasingly opt for organic certifications, recognizing the growing demand for chemical-free pulses. This approach not only aligns with traditional agricultural wisdom but also resonates with health-conscious consumers seeking nutritious, untainted produce.

Importance of Sustainable Practices for Long-Term Production

The importance of sustainable practices in pulse production extends beyond immediate agricultural concerns. As the Indian agricultural landscape faces evolving challenges such as climate change, soil degradation, and water scarcity, the longevity of pulse production hinges on sustainable methodologies.

Adopting these practices ensures the conservation of natural resources, maintains soil fertility, and minimizes the environmental footprint. Furthermore, sustainable agriculture promotes resilience against unpredictable weather patterns, fostering adaptability in the face of climate-related challenges.

Embracing these practices is not just a necessity for the preservation of the environment; it is a strategic approach that safeguards the future of pulse crops production in India, securing both the livelihoods of farmers and the availability of this crucial food source for the nation.

Government Initiatives and Policies

Government initiatives play a pivotal role in shaping the landscape of pulse production in India. Recognizing the importance of pulses for both nutrition and agricultural sustainability, various policies have been implemented to support and uplift farmers in the pulse sector.

These initiatives encompass a range of strategies, including research and development, extension services, and financial support, all geared towards enhancing pulse production and addressing the challenges faced by farmers.

Government Schemes Supporting Pulse Crop Production

India has introduced several schemes aimed at bolstering pulse crop production and ensuring the well-being of farmers.

One such initiative is the National Food Security Mission (NFSM), which focuses on increasing the production of pulses by providing technical assistance and financial support to farmers.

The Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) is another scheme that supports pulse cultivation by encouraging sustainable agricultural practices and providing infrastructure development.

Incentives and Subsidies for Pulse Farmers

The government extends various incentives and subsidies to pulse farmers to alleviate financial burdens and encourage increased production. Examples include Minimum Support Prices (MSPs), which assure farmers a guaranteed income for their produce, protecting them from market fluctuations.

Additionally, the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY) provides subsidies for water management and irrigation, benefiting pulse farmers by ensuring adequate water supply for their crops.

Furthermore, the Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY) promotes organic farming, offering financial support to farmers who adopt chemical-free cultivation methods for pulses.

These government initiatives and incentives underscore a concerted effort to enhance pulse production in India, ensuring food security, promoting sustainable agricultural practices, and supporting the livelihoods of farmers across the country.

Market and Trade

The market and trade dynamics of pulse crops in India play a crucial role in shaping the agricultural landscape. Pulses are a staple in the Indian diet, and the demand for these protein-rich crops continues to grow.

The pulse market operates on both local and global scales, with trade playing a vital role in meeting domestic demand and contributing to the economy.

Domestic and International Pulse Markets

In India, the domestic pulse market is diverse and vibrant. Local markets, wholesale mandis, and retail outlets form the backbone of the domestic pulse trade. These markets witness transactions involving various pulse varieties like chickpeas, lentils, and beans.

Additionally, pulses are integral to international trade, with India being a major exporter. Countries such as Canada, Australia, and the United States are key partners in the global pulse market, facilitating the exchange of these essential crops on an international scale.

Role of Pulse Crops in India’s Agricultural Exports

Pulses production in India hold significant importance in India’s agricultural exports, contributing substantially to the country’s economy. India is a major player in the global pulse market, exporting substantial quantities of chickpeas, lentils, and other pulse varieties.

These exports not only meet the demand of various nations but also contribute significantly to India’s foreign exchange earnings. The resilient nature of pulse crops makes them a valuable commodity in the international market, and their role in India’s agricultural exports underscores their economic significance on the global stage.

Overall, the pulse trade serves as a vital link between domestic production, consumption, and international commerce, creating a dynamic and interconnected pulse market in India.


The pulses crops production in India stands on the pillars of traditional farming practices, government initiatives, and vibrant domestic and international markets. The challenges faced, including weather fluctuations and pests, are met with resilience and adaptability by Indian farmers employing both age-old wisdom and modern solutions.

Government schemes, such as NFSM and RKVY, have significantly contributed to the growth of pulse production, offering support and financial incentives. The dynamic pulse market, both locally and globally, showcases the economic importance of these crops.

As India moves forward, the future of pulse crop production appears promising, with a growing emphasis on sustainability and organic farming.

Encouraging farmers to adopt innovative practices and continuing government support will undoubtedly pave the way for a robust and sustainable pulse production future in India.


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