Due to the political unrest in Myanmar, import of black gram (urad dal or black matpe) could get affected in India this year. Last week, the Government of India had allowed the import of 4 lakh tonnes of urad dal for 2021-22 to tackle the shortage of supply that happened as domestic production got affected in the Kharif season by unseasonal and erratic rains.
The import of urad dal is important to bridge the gap of demand and supply in India. Urad dal is rampantly used in the popular idli, dosa, pappad, and other such savory dishes. So, it is but natural that these food items will become costlier, especially in South India.
Vice Chairman of Indian Pulses and Grains Association (IPGA) Bimal Kothari said to the media, “The import quota was on expected lines. However, due to the prevailing political unrest in Myanmar, the shipments won’t be smooth. Definitely, we will see some hiccups in imports this year.”
The political unrest has already disrupted the pulses supply chain in Myanmar, which is the second biggest pulse producer in the world, after India.
One of the commodity brokers and traders informs that cargos are stuck because the ships cannot move due to the prevailing political situation in Myanmar.
Trade estimates reveal that Indian urad consumption falls between 2.2 and 3.0 million tonnes. Urad is the third widely-consumed pulses in India. Chana and tur dal are first and second, respectively.
Data from Ministry of Agriculture states that urad production in India was a record 3.49 million tonnes in 2017-18. But the production dropped in the last two years due to erratic weather in states like Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, and others. Not only quantity, but also the quality of produce has been affected.