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Australian and Brazilian Farmers to Grow Pigeon Peas for Indians

By boosting production and bridging the supply gap, farmers in Australia and Brazil aim to meet the culinary preferences of Indian consumers who enjoy the flavorsome and nutritious lentil in their traditional dishes.

Shivam Dwivedi
Australian and Brazilian Farmers to Grow Pigeon Peas for Indians (Photo Source: Pixabay)
Australian and Brazilian Farmers to Grow Pigeon Peas for Indians (Photo Source: Pixabay)

Farmers in Australia and Brazil are gearing up to meet the increasing demand for arhar, also known as pigeon peas, in India. Arhar is a crucial ingredient in popular Indian dishes like 'dal tadka' and 'sambhar,' and India has been facing a shortage in domestic production to meet the growing consumption.

During a recent meeting involving Australian Agriculture Minister Murray Watt, officials from India's food ministry, and representatives from the Indian Pulses and Grains Association (IPGA), it was agreed that IPGA would facilitate the cultivation of pigeon peas in Queensland, Australia. Pulse Australia, the Australian trade body, will provide assistance in this endeavor, according to officials familiar with the matter.

An anonymous official suggested that the Australian industry should contemplate the cultivation of pigeon peas for India. They mentioned that India has ceased importing chickpeas from Australia, despite it being the primary supplier in the past. The aim behind this proposal is to meet the rising demand for pigeon peas in the Indian market.

Satish Upadhyay, an executive committee member of IPGA, mentioned that Australia had conducted trial production of pigeon peas in 2019, and the quality was satisfactory. However, they were unable to continue due to unfavorable prices in India at the time. Now, Australia has resumed efforts to grow pigeon peas specifically for the Indian market. Sources indicate that the Australian counterparts may seek confirmed orders from the Indian government to ensure the success of the initiative.

The earlier mentioned official emphasized that the current deficit of approximately 17 lakh tonnes between Indian demand and supply provided assurance for any pigeon pea seller.

In addition to the collaboration with Australia, IPGA signed an agreement earlier this year with Brazil to assist farmers there in cultivating arhar. This marks a significant step in introducing the crop to Brazil, where it is relatively new.

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