Red gram is commonly known as Tur or Arhar (Pigeon pea) in India and is the second important pulse in the country after gram (chana). The ability of red gram to produce high economic yields under soil moisture deficit makes it an important crop in rainfed and dryland agriculture.
Red gram is a native of India as evident from the presence of several wild relatives and diverse gene pool along with ample evidence in historic literature. India contributes for nearly 90% of world’s total red gram production. However, it is gaining importance in African countries due to its adaptability to limited moisture conditions.
All the cultivated types belong to two categories:
i) Cajanuscajan var. bicolor: This group includes late maturing varieties, having tall bushy plants and bear flowers at the end of the branches. The pods are relatively longer and contain 4-5 seeds.
ii) Cajanuscajan var. flavus: This group includes early maturing varieties, having smaller plants and flowers at several points along the branches. The pods are also shorter which bear 2-3 seeds.
Seeds are rich source of protein and hence become an indispensable part of Indian vegetarian meal.
Contains protein – 22.3%
Fat – 1.7% and
Considerable amount of vitamins and minerals
Climate and cultivation
Red gram is mostly cultivated as a kharif crop in India while rabi season cultivation is in practice in the eastern parts. Red gram can withstand high temperatures but the threshold temperature for germination is 13o C. It can withstand up to 35o to 40o C provided soil moisture is adequate. It can be grown under variable soil moisture conditions, with rainfall ranging from 60cm to 140cm.However, higher yields can be realized with irrigation particularly during critical stages including flowering and pod filling. Crop duration varies from 120-150 days depending on the varieties and area of cultivation.
Madhya Pradesh: Indore, Bhopal, Vidisha
Maharashtra: Jalgaon, Latur, Mumbai, Akola
Other major centers: Delhi, Chennai, Kanpur, Hapur, Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Sirsa, Jalandhar
Futures’ trading in tur was suspended in 2007.
Despite being the largest producer, India is the largest net importer of tur in the world. Tur imports into India have been rising although they continued to be erratic, depending on their production pattern in the source countries.
Major import sources: Myanmar, African countries.
Factors to be considered while trading:
Carryover stocks and the stocks-to-consumption ratio.
Imports and the crop situation in the countries from where imports originate, viz., Myanmar.
As the pulses can be substituted for one other, the price of other major pulses like chana, moong and masoor also have a significant bearing on the prices of tur.