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Commodities Agricultural

Indian agriculture review: Ghana 2009-2010 outlook

December 6, 2009, Sunday, 18:35 GMT | 14:35 EST | 00:05 IST | 02:35 SGT
Contributed by Nirmal Bang

By Kunal Shah, Anuj Agarwal (Nirmal Bang)


Introduction of pulses


The word "pulses" commonly known as peas, beans, or lentils is today a household word. These are found to contain low fat, low sodium, high fiber, no cholesterol and a good source of protein and minerals. They have emerged as the most important crop group which has been cultivated by human since ancient times. They have become very important in our daily diet. At least one of these pulses (dals) - chana(chickpea), mung, masur, tur, urad, is found in the menu of most of the Indian families every day.


Production of pulses is restricted to Asian countries to a large extent and particularly in the Indian sub continent. Apart from India some of the other countries producing pulses are: Myanmar, Brazil, Pakistan, Canada, Australia and Turkey, US and Tanzania.

Over the years, India continues to be the largest producer and consumer of pulses in the world. Among all other pulses, chana (chickpea) continues to be the largest consumed in this complex, chana (chickpea) comprises of 45-50% of the total pluses production of India. The major pulse crops grown in India are chana (chickpea), mung beans, urad, pigeon peas, dry peas and lentils.

India grows a variety of pulse crops under a wide range of agro-climate conditions and is recognized globally as a major player in pulses contributing around 25-28% of the total global production. A liberal trade regime has kept imports in this region around 25 lakh tonnes per annum i.e. 20-25% of domestic production. But this year imports are likely to increase as production and yield of kharif pulses have been affected due to scanty rainfall and huge demand in the domestic market.



Production of wheat and rice has shown a significant improvement mainly due to the new and advanced technology adopted by the Government of India over the years to improve the overall yield and production of the crop. But at the same time if we closely monitor, the best growth among all the various complex in last two decades was witnessed by the oilseeds complex as it witnessed a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 5%, such a growth was possible only due to efforts taken by the Government to encourage farmers to increase the production of oilseeds. Well to talk about pulses the growth witnessed in this complex was very sluggish as compared to grains and oilseeds. Normally lack of interest is seen among farmers to cultivate this crop. Moreover the profitability of this complex is relatively low in comparison with grains and oilseeds. Government of India has initiated various programs off late to increase the overall production and improve the overall yield, to curb the gap between the ever growing demand and comparatively stringent supply of pulses.


When we probe further, it can be understood that the green revolution bypassed the pulses. It had more to do with increasing productivity of rice and wheat which is visible from the data of the foresaid crops from 1951-2008. In 1950-51, the total area for wheat was 9.75 mn hectares, production 6.46 mn tonnes and productivity 663 kg per hectare; however these figures improved over the years due to adoption of high yielding varieties. Productivity climbed to 851 kg/ha in 1960-61 reaching 2281 kg per ha in 1990-91 and by 2007-08 soared to 2785 kg per ha with a production of 78.40 mn tonnes and acreage at 28.15 mn ha.



The Government of India has set up a plethora of bodies to look after development and marketing of pulses. Some of the major ones include: Indian Institute of Pulses Research (Kanpur) which over the years has been acting as a national centre for basic and applied research on pulse crops such as Chana (Chickpeas), Tur (pigeon pea), Moong (mung bean), Urad (urad bean), Masur (lentil), etc. To boost production of pulses, it has developed a host of scientific technique which could help in improving the crop yields. Besides this, Indian Agriculture Research Institute, New Delhi has developed a large number of good qualities of seeds for cultivation purposes. NAFED, set up under the Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India, is another government agency engaged in promoting direct export/import and procurement of pulses in the country. Its International Trade Division is involved in constant research and exploration work for this purpose. Regular efforts are made by the Trade Division to identify new markets and new commodities. The Division has also been engaged to promote direct export business of pulses like lentils, gram, etc. Besides, it imports pulses on a large scale for government procurement.




India's pulse production during the last 10 years varied in the range of 11 to 15 million tonnes. Area under pulse cultivation is 12.85 million hectares and yields range averagely between 600 to 1200 kg per hectare per annum.







Area under cultivation of Kharif pulses as of July 31 2009 was 73.58 lakh hectares, up 9.6% as compared to 67.12 lakh hectares in the same period last year. Among the three major kharif pulses, Tur acreage is up at 27.30 lakh hectares a significant jump of 24.25% in terms of area (21.92 lakh hectares) over the same period last year. Urad and Moong acreage is also up at 16.4 and 19.24 lakh hectares respectively up by 5% and 6.5% compared to 15.66 & 18.07 lakh hectares in the same period last year. But this year estimated production for Kharif Pulses is expected to be on a lower side mainly because of scanty rainfalls during sowing and growth period coupled with heavy rainfalls during harvesting period which has proven to be highly detrimental for the crop in terms of quantity as well as quality.

In spite of such an increase in acreage, the production of Kharif pulses are expected to fall by 30-40% mainly on the grounds of below average rainfall across the nation and surprise rainfalls and flood like situations during in key Tur and Urad cultivating states. Production of Tur is expected to fall to 2.11mn tonnes  versus 3.08 mn tonnes last year, while that of Urad and Moong is expected to be 1.02 mn tonnes and 1.05mn tonnes versus 1.46 mn tonnes and 1.52 mn tonnes last year.

The fourth advanced estimate for 2008-09 released by government recently point at a production figure of 14.66 mn tonnes of pulses for the period 08-09, down from about 14.76 mn tonnes in 2007-08. While the demand and consumption is between 17-18 mn tonnes. This demand supply gap is been bridged by yearly imports of 3-4 mn tonnes pulses.


Growing pulses is less profitable when compared with other crops and it has become a hurdle in increasing the production of pulses. Farmers normally prefer cultivating grains and oil seeds as they provide better margin than pulses. As pulse being grown by 70% of small farmers and 18% of medium farmers, there is no significant participation of big farmers in growing pulses. The outlook for Tur in India is quite bleak, as, against an annual demand of 5 mn tonnes, the country averagely produces only around 3mn - 3.5mn tonnes and for the current period it is expected to be further down to 2.11 mn tonnes.

Prices of summer sown pulses have rose by a half in the last two-three months and are likely to surge for another year thanks to thin carry over stock, higher global prices, below average rainfall in the entire country & drop in estimates of production for the period 2009-10.


There has been huge curtailment in household consumption of pulses during the first half of this year. The per capita consumption of pulses declined to 11 kg in the first half of current year, while the per capita consumption in 1960 was 27 kgs. It is likely that the per capita consumption could further decline to 9 kg during the latter half of this year since it is unlikely that there would be an increase in demand at such soaring prices. A factor responsible for this situation is that no serious attention has been paid to increase pulses production especially under the National food security Mission, whose focus was more on production of wheat, rice, millet and corn since green revolution. Efforts were made to increase the yield of these crops on the cost of pulses. As a result yield per hectare for pulses have declined and production have hit to a great extent.


The compounded annual growth rate of pulses production during last five years decades has been a meager 0.9%. The country is well short of supply and has resort to imports. Increasing demand for pulses on account of rising population has led to increased imports which accounted 25-30 lakh tonnes during 2008-09 compared to imports of 4.6 lakh tonnes in 1998-99.




Tur (Arhar/Pegion pea)


The cultivation of the pigeon pea goes back at least 3000 years. The centre of origin is most likely Asia, from where it travelled to East Africa and by means of the slave trade to the American continent. Today pigeon peas are widely cultivated in all tropical and semi-tropical regions of both the Old and the New World. Pigeon peas can be of a perennial variety, in which the crop can last 3-5 years (although the seed yield drops considerably after the first two years), or an annual variety more suitable for grain production.

Pigeon pea is an important grain legume crop of rain fed agriculture in the semi-arid tropics. The Indian subcontinent, Eastern Africa and Central America, in that order, are the world's three main pigeon pea producing regions. Pigeon pea is cultivated in more than 25 tropical and sub-tropical countries, either as a sole crop or intermixed with such cereals as sorghum (Sorchum bicolor), pearl millet (Pennisetium glaucum), or maize (Zea mays), or with legumes, e.g. peanut (Arachis hypogaea). Being a legume, pigeon pea enriches soil through symbiotic nitrogen fixation.

The crop is cultivated on marginal land by resource-poor farmers, who commonly grow traditional medium and long duration. Short duration pigeon peas suitable for multiple cropping have recently been developed. Traditionally, the use of such input as fertilizers, weeding, irrigation, and pesticides are minimal, so present yield levels are low (average = 700 kg/ hac). Greater attention is now being given to managing the crop because it is in high demand at remunerative prices.Pigeon peas are very drought resistant and can be grown in areas with less than 650 mm annual rainfall.



In the last six years, the total production of tur was in the range of 29-36.54 lakh tons in the world market. The production has not been consistent over the years and therefore  volatility in production has been witnessed in the last six years. India is major Tur producer in the world with contribution of 75-80 per cent. In 2006 India contributed 75 per cent of world's production of Tur and ranked top in the world followed by Myanmar with 15 per cent of world's production. Other than  India and Myanmar, Kenya, Tanzania, Nepal, Malawi and Uganda is the major producer of tur in the world.




In the past seven years, it has been observed that the total area under Tur remained between 33.3-36.3 lakh hectare, while production in the range of 21.9-27.4 lakh tons. The year 2005-06 only remained exceptionally good when production touched all-time high of 27.4 lakh tons. Other than 2005-06, in the past seven years, production remained in the range of 22-23.5 lakh  tons. Large variation in acreage has not been witnessed in the country so far. Tur production depends heavily on rainfall. Normal and timely rainfall proved conducive environment for higher production. Other than monsoon, insect pest and profitably of other crops remains other major obstacle for the crop to occupy largest acreage.


Maharashtra is the largest producer of Tur in the country. Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh are also major producers of the crop.


Tur production is expected to be down for the year 2009-10 in spite of increase in total acreage of more than 24% for the current year over the previous year. The production is likely to be lower mainly because of two reasons of scanty rainfalls during the sowing and growth stage of the crop; and surprise rainfall coupled with flood like situation during the harvesting season of the crop especially in the states of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka which together accounts for 20-22% of the total Tur production. Maharashtra, the leading producer of Tur too witnessed late rainfalls during the harvesting season. Overall outlook of the production remains under pressure.




Urad (Black Gram/ Black Mapte)


Urad (Vigna mungo), also referred to as urad dal, udad dal, urd bean, urd, urid, black matpe bean, black gram, black lentil (not to be confused with the much smaller true black lentil, is a bean grown in southern Asia). It is largely used to make dal from the whole or split, dehusked seeds. It, along with the mung bean, was placed in Phaseolus but has been transferred to Vigna. It was at one point considered to belong to the same species as the mung bean.


Black gram originated in India where it has been in cultivation from ancient times and is one of the most highly prized pulses of India. It has also been introduced to other tropical areas mainly by Indian immigrants.


The crop is cultivated on marginal land by resource-poor farmers, who commonly grow traditional medium and long duration. Greater attention is now being given to managing the crop because it is in high demand at remunerative prices. Pigeon peas are very drought resistant and can be grown in areas with less than 650 mm annual rainfall.



In the past seven years, it has been observed that the total acreage under Urad remained between 15 lakh -20 lakh hectare while production in the range of 11 lakh -15.5 lakh tons. The year 2003-04 only remained exceptionally good when production touched all-time high of 14.78 lakh tons.


Andhra Pradesh is the largest producer of Urad in India. Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan and Orissa are other major producing states.


Urad production for the year 2009-10 is also expected to be lower as compared to 2008-09. Urad acreage was up by 5% at 16.4 lakh tonnes for the current year, but at the same time scanty rainfall in the sowing and growth stage of the crop and late rainfalls coupled flood like situation during harvesting season in Andhra Pradesh (contributes almost 20% of the country's production) made the situation more worse.





World pulses production


Global pulse production have remained quite steady and stagnant over past two decades at around 55-65 mn tonnes per year. Bean production accounts for the largest share of global pulses production with production of 26-28 mn tonnes annually, followed by Peas, Chana (chickpeas) and Lentils.




India is the largest producer of pulses, followed by Canada. Brazil is a large Dry bean producer, and does not produce any other pulses. While countries like Canada, Mexico, U.S. produces a bit of all the pulses. Turkey mainly produces Chana (chickpeas) and lentils, but very few beans and peas. France and Russia are other major producers of peas.






World total area under cultivation and total Production has been relatively stagnant over the years. The world pulses production has been in the range of 55 - 60 mn tonnes over the years. Any major increase or decrease in India's pulses production would have a direct impact on the total World's production as India contributes more than 25% of the total World's Pulses production.




India contributes around 25% of the world's pulses production, but if have a look at the above graph we can clearly notice that India's yield is seen well below the world's yield. Such huge difference appears mainly because of lack of interest shown  by Indian farmer towards the quality improvement of the crop coupled with lack of initiatives taken by the Central Government to adopt new technology which in turn can improve the quality as well as increase the yield of the crop.



Imports and Exports

Over the years, India continues to be the world's largest importer of pulses. Despite being the largest producer, the country has to rely upon imports mainly due to the explosive growth in population. A liberal trade regime has kept the Indian imports around 25-30 lakh tonnes per annum i.e. is 20% of the total domestic production. The country meets its domestic needs primarily through imports from USA, Australia, Myanmar, Turkey Tanzania and Canada. India accounts for 30-40% of total world import of pulses. But for the current year 2009-10 the imports are likely to increase by another 20-30% of total world's imports. Also, the production for Kharif pulses is expected to decline by 30-40% due to below average rainfall during sowing and growth season of these pulses in major pluses growing areas.



As it is quite clear from the above table that the per kg average price of Indian pulses exports have always been greater than per kg average price of its imports, the reason for such a difference is nothing but the yield per hectare is far less than the average yield of the other countries of the world for almost all the pulses. Another important factor to notice in the above table is the rate at which imports and exports have grown over the period. Indian exports of pulses have grown by a mere 0.13% CAGR as against its imports which have grown at the rate of 3.34%. This simply shows the rising demand for pulses by Indians in coming years

During the last two decades total pulses availability (production & imports) in the country increased only 1.39%, the population has increased by 1.8%. In contrast pulses imports has grown by 10.38% CAGR. If such a trend continues further, there could be a supply shortfall of around 2.26mn tonnes by 2011-12, and the shortfall is expected to rise to 6.8 mn tonnes by 2020-21.





Low import tariffs have helped increase in imports, including the June 8th, 2006 decision of allowing pulses shipment into the country duty-free. Canada accounts for 40% of total pulses imports by India (mainly for yellow peas), while Myanmar accounts for 27%, Australia accounts for 9% (desi chana), while that of the U.S. is 6%.

Tur has huge demand in southern and eastern parts of the country while Chana (chickpea) is consumed mostly in northern part of India. India mostly imports Tur and Urad from Myanmar and Ghana, and other African countries such as Kenya, Tanzania, and Mozambique.


Agri minister Sharad Pawar had said that as on July 22 PSUs have contracted 10.29,000 tonnes of pulses, of which 9,13,000 tonnes have arrived and 7,39,000 out of which been sold in the open market.







Overall pulses outlook

Outlook for Kharif pulses looks bullish as the current year's estimated production has declined by 30-40% due to below average rainfalls coupled with heavy rainfall and flood like situation during harvesting season which lead to wash out of standing crop in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. This in turn may further lead to increase in price from the current levels.

Government has taken various measures to control prices by imposing stock limits on all major pulses producing states; state government has started selling pulses at a subsidized rate through ration shops and PDS (public distribution scheme) to curb prices at state levels. But we still believe that in spite of all these measures pluses prices still looks really very strong backed by their strong fundamentals and the downside would be capped.






The earliest carbonized remains (10, 000 years old) were unearthed at Tel Mureybit on the banks of the River Euphrates in Northern Syria. This is the ancient crop that was used by the hunters for sustaining their lives. The area that first began to grow Chana (chickpeas) was the Middle East but later they were being grown in ancient Egypt, Rome, and Greece during 7500 BC, where these were consumed in various forms like raw, broth, snacks, etc. They were later brought in India during the 16th century by the Spanish explorers, and since then Chana (chickpeas) have been used in many forms. In fact, during the First World War, Germany started cultivating Chana (chickpeas) as a coffee substitute.


Chana (chickpeas) is the third most important pulses crop in the world after dry bean and dry peas. The chickpea, garbanzo bean (Spanish), Indian pea, ceci bean, Bengal gram, hummus, channa or chana (Cicer arietinum) is an edible legume (English "pulse") of the family Fabaceae, subfamily Faboideae. The name Cicer is of Latin origin and is derived from Greek word 'kikus' meaning force or strength. Duschak (1871) traced the origin of the word to the Hebrew 'kirkes', where 'kikar' means round. It belongs to family Leguminoseae and is a small, multi-branched herbaceous plant. Chana (chickpea) is a major pulse crop in India and accounts for 40-45% of the total pulse production. India is the largest producer in the world account for more 66% of the total world production. Chana (chickpeas) is also called pois chiche (French), kichar or chicher (German), in turkey, Romania, Afghanistan, Bulgaria, and adjacent parts of Russia. Chana (chickpeas) is also called 'nakhut' or 'nohut'. Different Indian states have differen name for Chana (chickpeas) like it is called as chana in northern states, Chhole in Punjab, Chola in west Bengal, boot in Orissa, Sanagulu in Andhra Pradesh, Kadale in Karnataka, Kadalai in Tamil Nadu and Kadala in Kerala.





Types of chana (chickpeas):


- Desi chana:
It has a small dark seed and rough coat. It is also called as Brown gram, Desi gram or Kala chana. They are mostly cultivated in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Australia, Mexico, Ethiopia, and Iran. They make up 85- 90% of world's Chana (chickpeas) production. Desi Chana (chickpeas) has remarkably high fiber content and thus is suitable for people suffering from diabetes.


- Kabuli chana:
Also called as Cicer Kabulium (White gram or Kabuli). These Chana (chickpeas) are light, almost whitish cream colour, with larger seeds and a smoother coat as compared to the desi chana (chickpeas). They make up the balance 10-15% of world chana (chickpeas) production. Introduced in India during the 18th century, the kabuli chana (chickpeas) are mainly grown in Southern Europe, Northern Africa, Mexico, Turkey, Afghanistan, Canada, Tunisia, Sudan, Malawi, Portugal, Syria and Chile.

The price difference between Desi type and Kabuli type is partly related to end user market. Kabuli types tend to be used in relatively more affluent market countries (western countries). Desi types are primarily consumed in the India sub-continent. Desi prices generally track edible yellow pea but at a considerable premium. In India they are further divided in various sub-categories such as:
- Kantewala
- Govran
- Chapa
- Annagiri
- Gulabi
- Mosami
- Hara
- Baheti



Nutritional Elements of Chana (chickpeas):

Chana (chickpeas) are healthy as they contain many nutritional elements that are deemed necessary for growth of our body. Chana (chickpeas) contain vital vitamin like Vitamin A, Vitamin B1, B2, and B3, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Folate and Pantothenic acid. They also contain many important minerals like calcium, iron, molybdenum, potassium, manganese, copper, zinc, etc. other nutrients that are found in Chana (chickpeas) are dietary fibers, carbohydrates (55%), proteins (25-29%), water, etc.


Uses of Chana (chickpeas):

Chana (chickpeas) is consumed in various forms. Major use of Chana (chickpea) consist of making flour- popularly known as 'besan', flour consist of more than 60% of Chana (chickpea) usage. Around 15-20% of chana (chickpeas) is used for seeding purpose, and the balance is consumed in raw form or used as chana dal.


Chana (chickpeas) is also consumed for medical purposes, as Chana (chickpeas) are rich in dietary fiber, both soluble and insoluble, they can help a lot in reducing cholesterol and also in preventing the blood sugar level from rising too much immediately after a meal. Being a rich source of molybdenum, Chana (chickpeas) help in detoxifying sulphites, which can otherwise cause rapid heartbeats or headache if consumed too much by sulphite sensitive people. Too much reaction to sulphite is caused mainly due to lack of molybdenum to detoxify them. The presence of iron in Chana (chickpeas) help in replenishing lost energy, particularly for women who are menstruating or when they are pregnant. Also Chana (chickpeas) are low on calories and virtually fat free.


Chana (chickpeas) are also high on trace minerals like manganese which is important any energy producing enzymes. Iron also helps in improving the hemoglobin level, thereby improving the flow of blood to the heart.



Major uses of Desi Chana are as follows
- Dal: Used in accompany with chapatti and rice.
- Snacks Food: prepared by heating, toasting (parching) is traditional household items consumed with cereals.
- Namkeen: Besan prepared from Chana (chickpea) is widely used in making various namkeens, pakodas, and kadhi. Consumption of besan in form of namkeen is around 80%.
- Sweets: Besan is one of the key ingredients along with ghee, sugar and dry fruits used to make many sweets of Indian confectionaries. Consumption of besan in form of sweets is around 15-20%.
- Sattu: Parched Chana (chickpea) is used for making various kind of sattu which is consumed for culinary pupose.
- Animal feed: The plant part is used for animal feed which have high nutritional value and it is important source of horse feed.



Plant type, soil and climatic condition required for Chana

- Plant type:
Seeding depth of Chana (chickpeas) should be 3.5-6 cm or 1.5-2.5 inches. The foliage is covered with glandular hairs which secrete highly acidic exudates, and is considered important in conferring tolerance to insect pests, such as the pod borer. Leaves are compound, arranged in an alternate phylactery, and generally inparipinnate with 11 to 13 leaflets. Flowers are auxiliary, solitary, or in inflorescence of two or three. They are white, pink, purplish, or blue in colour. The plant has deep root system and is considered a hardy crop. Seeding rate depends on seed size and percentage germination. Chana (chickpeas) is multiple branched and plant growth ranges from 8-40 inches. Optimum seeding rates are 90-105 kg/ha or 80-95 lb/acre for desi type and 135-155 lb/acre for kabuli type. Length of maturity depends upon heat and moisture, but it is in the range of 95-105 days for Desi Chana (chickpea) and 100-110 days for Kabuli Chana (chickpea).


- Soil and climatic condition required:
Chana (chickpeas) is a legume crop best suited to areas having low to moderate rainfall and a mild weather. Excessive rain after sowing or at flowering and hailstorms during ripening stage are very harmful to the crop. Severe cold and/or frost can also be very detrimental. Chana (chickpea) is not winter-intensive crop and moderate rainfall of 60-90 cm per annum considered optimum for its growth. Chana (chickpeas) is grown on wide range of soils in India but it grows best on sandy to clay loam. Chana (chickpeas) thrive under moisture condition with day temperature between 21-29 degree Celsius, and night temperature 20 degree Celsius. The yields good in drier conditions and heavy rainfall affects the yield as it is more prone to diseases and excessive vegetative growth leads to lodging problems. Harvesting is done when the plant become yellowish and pods are matured. They are not well adapted to high moisture areas, saline soils, soils which are slow to warm in spring and waterlogged areas. It may be advantageo s to avoid seeding Chana (chickpeas) in low lying areas of the field, around slough or in areas of high soil organics matter to prevent uneven or prolonged maturity.


The minimum soil temperature at seeding depth recommended for desi type is 7 degree Celsius but germination will occur at 5 degree Celsius. The desi typeshould be seeded as early as the soil temperature is acceptable, since seedlings are frost tolerant and the crop requires long season to mature. For the kabuli type the minimum soil temperature should be around 10 degree Celsius as they are more sensitive compared to desi type. Kabuli type are easily infected by soil borne fungi, therefore warmer soil is required for rapid germination and emergence of seedlings to reduce the time exposure to soil borne diseases. Nitrogen fertilizes is generally not required, as Chana (chickpeas) posses the ability to fix nitrogen from air in the nodules on the roots where it is used for plant growth. To maximize the nitrogen fixation ability, Chana (chickpeas) seeds or the soil around the seed, should be inoculated with the Chana (chickpeas) strains of nitrogen fixing inoculate. Other fertilizer should be applied based on soi test.


Excessive rains soon after sowing period, ripening, and harvesting can affect the overall production as well as the quality of the crop. Severe cold is injurious, and is harmful; hailstorms during ripening stage can cause damage to the crop to great extent








Production Analysis (India):

Chana (chickpeas) is a Rabi crop and is sown from November to December and harvested from February to March. The peak arrival period begins from March-April at the major trading centers of the country.


Bengal gram is consumed throughout the year in form of whole, dal and by-product. There has been major shift in Chana (chickpeas) area (about 2.5 million hectares) from northern India (cooler, long season environment) to southern India (warmer, short season environment) during the past four decades.


The short-duration cultivators developed through ICRISATNARS partnership have played a key role in expanding area and productivity of Chana (chickpeas) in central and southern India. In India sowing begins during October-November and harvested during February defers from region to region as given below.







Production of Chana from various states




Madhya Pradesh (MP):

MP is the main Chana (Chickpeas) producing state in India. Almost 40-45% production of Chana (Chickpeas) comes from Madhya Pradesh. During 2008-2009, around 24 lakh tons of Chana (chickpeas) was produced, up 1.89 lakh tonnes from 2007-08 when 22.11 lakh tonnes was produced, with a sowing area of nearly 26.31 lakh hectares, up from 22.11 lakh hectares in 2007-08. But overall condition also depends on weather, if it remains favorable, production may increase in the state. Nearly entire MP produces Chana (chickpeas) but due to good irrigation facilities in nearby -places of Satna, farmers are taking interest in Wheat cultivation also. Here, nearly 12 types of Chana (chickpeas) are produced but Kantewala quality has the maximum production. Sowing starts in October and November while arrival starts in March.

Narsinghpur, Sagar, Ujjain, Shajapur, Vidhisha, Indore are the leading Chana (Chickpea) growing districts. These districts together contribute more than 60-70% of the total Madhya Pradesh Chana (Chickpea) production. Any major increase or decrease of sowing in these areas can directly affect the overall production of the state. For the year 2009-10 sowing of Chana (chickpea) is complete and estimated area under sowing is somewhere around 26-28 lakh hectares. But at the same time it is been heard that sowing for Kabuli Chana (Chickpea) has increased fourfold this year as compared to last year. Estimated production of Kabuli Chana is around 5-7 lakh tonnes for the current year as compared to 1.5 lakh tonnes in the previous years.





Rajasthan is the second largest Chana (chickpeas) producing state in the country. In 2008-2009 nearly 10 lakh tonnes of Chana (chickpeas) was produced, down by 1 lakh tonnes in 2007-08 when 11 lakh tonnes was produced. The production  had reduced mainly because of reduction in the sowing area, as 10.32 lakh hectares were under cultivation down by 2.36 lakh in 2007-08 when 12.86 lakh hectares were under cultivation. Many farmers have preferred cultivation of RM Seed due to better returns. Here Chana (chickpeas) is cultivated as a rain-fed (Barani) crop in all the districts. So production figure fluctuates year to year. Rajasthan has the capacity to produce around 25-30 lakh tons Chana (chickpeas) if rains occur on time and farmers take full interest in the sowing the crop. Mostly desi chana (chickpeas) is produced in Rajasthan Ganganagar region and Jaipur region are the main Chana (chickpeas) cultivating belts in Rajasthan. Among these regions Sri Ganganagar, Bikaner, Churu, and Hanumangarh are the key Chana (  ickpeas) producing districts. They together contribute more than 60-65% of the total Chana (chickpeas) production in Rajasthan. For the year 2009-10 Chana (chickpeas) production is expected to be very low mainly due low moisture level in the soil due to scanty monsoon season coupled with low water level in reservoirs (Ponk damn and Bhakara Nagal). These factors may lead to lower Chana (chickpea) production for 2009-10 from the state.





Uttar Pradesh:

Chana (chickpeas) is produced in the southern part of the state but its quality is low due to its slight toxic nature of the crop. Here, 5-5.25 lakh tonnes of Chana (chickpea) were produced in 2008-09 up by 25000 tonnes compared to 5 lakh tonnes in 2007-08. Such increase in production was mainly attributed to increase in acreage from 5.88 lakh hectares in 2007-08 to 8.49 lakh hectares in 2008-09.

Kanpur, Allahbad, Jhansi, Chitrakutare are the main divisions producing Chana (chickpeas) in Uttar Pradesh. These divisions together contribute more than 60-65% of the total Chana (chickpeas) production in Uttar Pradesh. The production scenario seems to be good for this state as the late rains during first week of October coupled with heavy rains during first and second week of November has improved the moisture level of the soil. All these factors can prove to be of great help for the current year's Chana (chickpeas) production, but at the same time Government of India has taken initiative to encourage the farmers to improve the sowing of Wheat this year as Uttar Pradesh being the largest producer of wheat. So any area diversion of Chana (chickpeas) toward sowing of wheat can decrease the overall production of Chana (chickpeas).






Maharashtra is famous for producing good quality of Chana (chickpeas) like Govran, Chapa, and Annagiri. However, some other famous desi qualities are also produced here. During 2008-09, nearly 6 lakh tons Chana (chickpeas) was produced down by 1 lakh tonne in 2007-08, mainly due to area under cultivation was reduced to 8.84 lakh hectares down from 10.32 lakh hectares in 2007-08.

The yield and the quality of crop for Maharashtra is better as compared to other states. Districts producing Chana (chickpeas) are Jalgaon, Amravati, Akola, Ahmednagar, Latur, Osmanabad, Solapur and Latur. These districts together contribute more than 70% of the total Maharashtra's Chana (chickpeas) production.







Mosami, Annagiri and Gulabi Chana (chickpeas) are the main qualities which are produced in Karnataka. During 2008-09around 3.54 lakh tonnes of Chana (chickpeas) was produced up by 54000 tonnes from 3 lakh tonnes in 2007-08, such increase in production was mainly due to increase in sowing area from 6.84 lakh in 2007-08 to 8.07 lakh hectares in 2008-09.

Sowing for the current season of Chana (chickpeas) is complete, but any offcial of the area sown is not out yet. Gulbarga is the leading district in Karnataka producing Chana (chickpea); it contributes more than 30% for the total Chana (chickpea) production of the state. Belagum, Bidar, Bijapur, Dharwad, Gadag are the other major Chana (chickpea) producing districts of the state. The recent rainfall of November has proven to be of great help as the water requirement was completely met. But at the same time there was some heavy to very heavy spells of rainfalls over few of these districts which have caused water logging to the certain extent in the farm. Due to such excess water in the field there is likelihood of the yield and quality of the crop getting affected to a great extent, this in turn may prove highly detrimental to the overall production of the state.




Andhra Pradesh:

Mainly Annagiri quality is produced in this state. Around 4.25 lakh tonnes of Chana (chickpeas) was produced during 2008- 2009 down by 25000 tonnes from 2007-08 levels, inspite of increase in sowing area which increased from 6.70 lakh hectares in 2007-08 to 6.98 lakh hectares in 2008-09, production was down mainly because of late arrivals of rains in key Chana (chickpeas) producing areas. Telengana is the main producing belt of the state.






Gujarat merely produces 2-2.5lakh tonnes of Chana (chickpea) in spite of being one of the leading consumers of Chana (chickpea) and Besan (by product of Chana). Major districts producing Chana (chickpea) in Gujarat are Dohad, Jamnagar, Kutch, Saurastra and the Northern part of Gujarat. The Quality as well as the Yield of Chana (chickpea) is best among all the states of India.






Global Scenario for Chana (Chickpea) :

Chickpea is a cool season plant usually grown as a winter crop in India, Middle East, Australia, and South and Central America. It is being cultivated in different seasons in different parts of the world, but the crop season can be seen throughout the year. The crop season begins during September and ends in March-April in Indian sub continent. While in Australia and Canada sowing starts in April-May and ends in November-December.





India has been the leading Chana (chickpeas) producer since last few decades. It produces around 65-68% of the total World's Chana (chickpeas) production. Since India being a leading producer of Chana (chcikpeas), any major increase or decrease in Chana (chickpea) production from India can be directly reflected in the World' Chana (chickpea) production. Traditionally India Chana (chickpea) production has been in the range of 55-60 lakh tonnes.



As we all know that India is the largest producer of Chana (chickpeas) with average share comprising almost 65%-68%. For 2008-09 estimated Indian Chana (chickpea) production was 6.2 mn tonnes as compared to World's Chana (chickpea) production of 8.76 mn tonnes. As we can see any major shortfall or increase in production can be reflected in the World's Chana (chickpea) production.



World Chana production during 2008-09 was estimated above 8.76 mn tonnes. World Chana production has been in the range of 6.5-9 mn tonnes, but at the same time a huge deviation also takes place in these production figures mainly due any major increase or decrease of production from sub-continent end. More than 85% of the world Chana (chickpea) production comes from Indian sub-continent.



Quite clear from the above graphical representation of the fact that Indian is been the leading country producing Chana (Chickpea). Other than Indian, major countries producing Chana (chickpea) are Pakistan, Iran, Turkey, Australia, Canada. Pakistan's Chana (chickpea) production has shown wide fluctuation over the years. Pakistan mainly produces Desi Chana (chickpea). Other thanPakistan, Turkey and Iran are the other two major countries producing Chana (chickpea). Turkey mostly produces Desi type whereas Iran's 70-75% comprises of Kabuli type. Australia is considered to be producing the finest quality of Chana (chickpea), they too produces Desi as well as Kabuli. Their Desi production comprises upto 85% of their total Chana (chickpea) production.



Yield for Canada has been the best among all the other countries, but off late the Chana (chickpea) production has seen huge reduction mainly because of the concentrated efforts by the Canadian Govt. to increase the production of Yellow Peas. Australia and Turkey are among the other countries which enjoy a yield better than India. India's yield is considered to better than the average World's Yield of Chana (chickpea). Tanzania, Iran and Pakistan are among the back runners for Chana (chickpea) yield as compared to other countries, Pakistan especially as shown huge volatility in its yield over the years.




India's Chana (chickpea) imports have been varying in the range 1.5 lakh - 5.5 lakh tonnes over the last decade. But lately Chana (chickpea) imports have been on lower side mainly because of increasing imports of Yellow Peas in last 5 years. India's Chana (chickpea) exports have picked up lately as we can clearly witness in the above given graph that India's Chana (chickpea) exports vis-?-vis World's Chana (Chickpea) exports is inching towards 20%. India's Chana (Chickpea) exports mainly comprises of Kabuli Chana (mainly consumed in the West), as Government of India has imposed ban on exports of pulses on 27th June 2006 with exception to Kabuli Chana (chickpea).




India's Chana (chickpea) imports mainly comprises of Desi Chana (chickpea) mainly due to demand for Besan (Byproduct of Desi chana) in the domestic market. Myanmar and Australia are the chief exporters of Desi Chana to India. Australia contributes more than 40% of India's Desi Chana imports.





The above graph represents India's Chana (chickpea) imports vis-?-vis India's pulses imports over the years. As we can see in the above India's Chana (chickpea) imports has witnessed a downward trend. Such a trend is mainly attributed towards increasing use of Yellow Peas for besan over the years.



India's Chana (chickpea) export has witnessed a huge spike with respect to India's total pulses exports mainly due to two reasons, one being ban on exports of pulses by Government of India with exception to Kabuli Chana (chickpea) and second being increase in demand of Kabuli Chana (chickpea) in the international market (mainly in West) has encouraged Indian farmers to grow more Kabuli Chana (chickpea) over the years.




Substitutes' effect


Yellow peas: Chana (chickpeas) is one the highly consumed pulse in India. Normally people have a tendency to compare it with other pulses, as they believe the price trends of all the pulses follow each other. If price of Tur goes up, people start shifting to Chana (chickpea) and same is the case with other commodities. But if we properly analysis the whole Pulses complex Chana (chickpea) cannot be used as a substitute for pluses like Tur, Urad, Moong and vice-versa. It is the same case with as if someone is asked to consume Rice instead of Wheat.


The actual substitute for Chana (chickpea) can only be considered as yellow peas. The reason for that is, as we all know that major and most common use of Chana (chickpea) is besan, around 60-65% consumption of Chana (chickpeas) comprises of besan, traders normally mix yellow peas in Chana (chickpeas) dal and besan due to its cheap rate and easy availability. Normally prices of yellow pea's trades at Rs. 500- 550 discount to that of Chana (chickpeas), and if such difference continues, it would increase the probability of mixing. Mixation of yellow peas in Chana (chickpeas) affects the price of Chana (chickpeas) negatively.