Chennai: The M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF), Chennai, which is assisting the Government of India in establishing a “Rice Bio Park at Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar, which is a first of its kind in the world, has proposed a similar project for pulses at Thanjavur in the state to enhance the income of farmers involved in the cultivation of pulses. Also, the foundation will establish a genetic garden in association with the TN Agricultural University.
“Though Bio Park could be set up for any crop, we have submitted a proposal similar to the Rice Bio Park, Myanmar, to promote pulses,” Prof Swaminathan said.
The project, it is said, will help improve the income of pulses farmers who are dependent on dry farming areas for livelihood. It would also demonstrate how numerous market-driven by-products could be prepared from the pulses plant biomass.
The domestic demand for pulses is projected to be 32 million tons by 2030 and additional three million hectares have to be brought under pulses cultivation in the country to meet the demand.
Productivity too, requires to be doubled from the present level of 700 kg per hectare. According to Dr P. Pillaiyar, consultant, MSSRF, about 70 per cent of pulses production was available for domestic consumption while the rest is being imported now.