The country's masur (lentil) production is estimated to touch an all-time high of 1.6 million tonnes in the 2023-24 rabi season on higher acreage, according to Consumer Affairs Secretary Rohit Kumar Singh.
Masur production stood at 1.55 million tonnes in the 2022-23 rabi season, as per the official data.
Despite being the world's largest producer and consumer of pulses, India imports certain pulses, including masur and tur, to meet domestic shortages.
"This year, masur production is going to be at an all-time high. Our masur production will be the highest in the world. The acreage has increased. The dynamic is changing," Singh said at an event organised by the Global Pulse Confederation (GPC) on Friday.
In the ongoing rabi season, more area has been brought under the masur crop. The total masur acreage has increased to 1.94 million hectare as of January 12 in the ongoing rabi season, when compared to 1.83 million hectare in the year-ago period, according to the agriculture ministry data.
On the sidelines of the event, the Secretary said masur production is estimated at 1.6 million tonnes for the current rabi season.
He also mentioned that the country produces on an average 26-27 million tonnes of pulses annually. In chana and moong, the country is self-sufficient but in other pulses like tur and masur, it still imports to meet the shortages.
"While we pitch for self-reliance in pulses, we cannot ignore that for some time to come, we probably need to keep (pulses) imports running," he said.
While the government is incentivising farmers to grow more pulses, one needs to keep in mind the limited area under cultivation, he added.
Sharing how difficult it is to balance the farmers' and consumers' interests, the Secretary said, "I think we are doing ok in the last couple of years. Despite weather disturbances, we have managed to keep the prices of pulses reasonably under control".