Pulses output up.
A rise in the production of chickpea and gram is expected this year which may lead to a substantial decrease in pulses' imports over the next few years.
In the last cropping year, Pakistan had produced 673,000 tonnes of chickpea (white gram) and black gram, compared to less than 300,000 tonnes a year ago. For this year, the output estimates vary between 700,000 and 750,000 tonnes, as per the information gathered by provincial agricultural departments.
Gram is one of the 10 top pulses produced in the country and accounts for 70% of the total pulses output which has historically been in the range of 500,000700,000 tonnes but may reach closer to a million tonnes this year.
The domestic need for pulses is estimated around 1.5 million tonnes and since the gap between demand and supply has to be filled in with imports, larger local output will save foreign exchange.
Increase in production of pulses led to forex saving of $107 million in FY13 as pulses' import fell to $327 million from $434 million.
Major pulses produced include: chickpea or white gram, black gram, Moong, Masoor or Lentils, Mash, White Lobia or Cowpeas, Red Lobia or kidney beans, Urd, Arhar or pigeon peas, Matri or Lathyrus and Moth or Moth beans.
Although growing of pulses at a large scale is not considered beneficial compared to growing other crops. The crash in chickpea prices during this year may cause farmers to switch over to growing other minor crops including oilseeds and veggies.