Enhancing pulses production in India through improving seed and variety replacement rates

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J. S. Chauhan
B. B. Singh
Sanjeev Gupta


India is the largest producer, consumer and importer of pulses in the world. Pulses are important for the nutritional security of the cereal based vegetarian diet of large population of India. Due to ever increasing population, rising income of people and pulses being the major source of protein in Indian diet, the demand for pulses continues to grow at 2.8% per annum. It is estimated that 27.5 million tonnes of pulses would be required by 2025. Since more than 80% of the area under pulses is under stressed rainfed environment, the quality seed of improved varieties has emerged as the most vital input for enhancing pulses production in India. For ensuring availability of quality seed it was estimated that 39.38 lakh q and 46.87 lakh q quality seed of improved varieties would be required in 2020 and 2025, respectively, at increased seed replacement rate (SRR). The SRR of all the pulses under study showed an increasing trend during the last decade. This could be further increased with vibrant formal and informal seed system involving public and private seed industries and promotion of participatory seed production programmes. Since pulses are grown in diverse agro-climatic situations under severe biotic and abiotic stresses, the varietal diversity in seed chain also assumes greater importance. Seed chain is currently being maintained with 236 improved varieties of six major pulses. However, only 44 of them occupied prominence in seed chain and could contribute significantly to increased pulse production in recent times. There is further need to bring sufficient number of high yielding and disease resistant varieties in seed chain which should adequately represent all pulse growing areas in the country. The present paper discusses the options of yield enhancement in pulses through increased availability of quality seed and strategy for enhancing variety replacement, rate (VRR) and seed replacement rate (SRR) of major pulses, viz., chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.), pigeonpea (Cajanus cajan L.), mungbean (Vigna radiata L. Wilczek), urdbean (Vigna mungo L. Hepper), lentil (Lens culinaris L.) and fieldpea (Pisum sativum L.).

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How to Cite
Chauhan, J. S., Singh, B. B., & Gupta, S. (2016). Enhancing pulses production in India through improving seed and variety replacement rates. INDIAN JOURNAL OF GENETICS AND PLANT BREEDING, 76(04), 410–419. https://doi.org/10.5958/0975-6906.2016.00060.2
Research Article

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