Pulses are the edible seeds of legume plants, which can be consumed fresh or dried for later use. Legumes such as green beans, soybeans, and peas are not considered pulses.
With India as the largest importer and also a major producer of pulses, the world market for pulses is expected to reach $180 billion by 2023. But there’s much more to know about this growing market. Here are 10 things you should know about India’s pulses market globally.
- The Indian pulses market is projected to reach US$ 52 billion by 2022 and be driven by rising demand for protein-rich foods and growing awareness about the health benefits of pulses. India imported 15 LMT of pulses in FY19 and it is expected to cross 20 LMT by FY22 and continue to remain a net importer. The market has seen robust growth in recent years as the country imports more than 70% of its domestic consumption requirements.
- The demand for pulses has shown a rapid increase but availability has not been able to keep pace due to a decline in yield over the years. The country’s self-sufficiency ratio for pulses declined from 81% in 1991-92 to 65% in 2016-17.
- As per projections by the National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER), India would need to import 15 MT annually during 2021-22 to meet domestic demand as compared with 5 MT of domestic production during the 2016-17 season.
- Tur (Arhar), urad, and moong are the most produced pulses in India while chana and masoor are grown in lesser quantities. Other varieties like peas and lentils are grown in even lesser quantities due to their less favorable agro-climate conditions.
- India’s largest export markets are Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka, but it also exports to other countries like Pakistan and Afghanistan for domestic consumption in those areas.
- The agricultural sector accounts for about 17% of India’s gross domestic product (GDP) and employs about 58% of the country’s population. The crop constitutes an important component of Indian agriculture, as it plays a crucial role in maintaining soil fertility through nitrogen fixation.
- Pulses crops are inexpensive sources of protein and they also provide many other nutrients like dietary fiber, iron, copper, and phosphorus. They contain more protein than any other plant-based food. They also contain antioxidant compounds that help in preventing certain forms of cancer. That is why pulses are very important for vegetarians since it provides them with essential proteins. It can also be digested easily which makes it ideal for children and people who have weak digestive systems.
- The demand for organic pulses is expected to grow rapidly over the next two decades. The FAO projects that the annual consumption of pulses will reach 308 million tons by 2050, up from 219 million tons in 2016. This increase in demand is due to a growing population, growing per capita consumption, and rising incomes in developing countries. The demand for food pulses has been increasing at a rate of about 2% per year due to rising consumption patterns in developed economies. Also, the demand for protein-rich foods is expected to increase significantly with the rise in health concerns.
- The pulse industry in India is worth $ 39 billion globally with a CAGR of 5%. The industry is projected to reach $61 billion by 2020 growing at a rate of 8%. Pulses are the second-largest food crop in India after rice, accounting for 23% of the total cropped area in FY15. Whereas, Chana (chickpea), urad (black gram), Masur (lentil), moong (green gram), and tur (pigeon pea) were grown at the rate of 13.1%.
Global Pulses Market Size
The Global Pulses market size is estimated to reach USD 8.95 billion by 2025, growing at a CAGR of around 7.7% during the forecast period, to reach USD 11.6 billion in 2026. And while pulses represent a diverse group of food crops worldwide and vary in terms of cultivation methods and processing techniques, high nutrition levels coupled with nutritional and medicinal values have helped them become the world’s second most consumed food commodity after rice.
Pulses are considered a sustainable crop because they are very drought tolerant, need little water, can be grown in marginal areas, and require fewer fertilizers and pesticides. They are also easy to store and can be preserved for long periods due to their high nutritional value and antioxidant properties.
The global pulses market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 7.2% by 2022. The expectations are on par with last year however they have revised downwards compared to 2016 as the concerns over increasing prices have not materialized. The total global production of pulses was estimated at around 72 MMT which was a record and accounted for an almost 16% increase compared to the previous year’s production figures. India’s production is expected to be around 25-27 MMT which will account for 30% of global production. In terms of imports and exports, the Asian countries and EU dominate the trade while North America accounts for a relatively smaller share.
Pulses export from India
Exports of all varieties of pulses were expected to be at 5 million tonnes in 2021 and 5.3 million tonnes in 2022, according to the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), with a large share still going to Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
Exports of lentil (Masur) are forecast at around 2 million tonnes each year, while exports of pigeon pea (Toor) are projected at just over 2 million tonnes in 2021 and 1.9 million tonnes in 2022, FAS said in its latest Global Agricultural Information Network report on India’s agribusiness sector.