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Chana or Chickpea is a major pulse crop in the Indian subcontinent and several other countries. Known for rich protein content, chana is used as an edible seed as well as making flour. Chana is broadly divided into two categories – Kabuli and Desi-- according to the colour, seed size and taste.
India is the leading producer and consumer of chana in the world. The Indian production is estimated to be between 4-7 million tons per year. Normally chana accounts for around 40 percent of India’s total pulses crop production of 12-15 million tons. Major producing states are Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Maharashtra.
A fragmented market with a very long value chain is the main characteristics of the present chana market scenario in the country. Commission agents, brokers, wholesalers, flourmills and retail outlets are the key players in the market.
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Chana can withstand moisture stress to a certain extent. However, the production highly fluctuates between years, depending on the rains received and the moisture availability in the soil.
The sentiments of traders play a significant role currently, as a consequence of the lack of free-flow of information. There is also high substitutability between pulses in India among the consumers. So the price of other major pulses like tur, yellow peas, green peas etc also influence the prices of chana.
Besides output and demand, other key parameters shaping chana prices include carry over stocks, imports and the extent of substitution with other pulses.
Indore, Bhopal, Vidisha in Madhya Pradesh, Jalgaon, Latur, Mumbai, Akola in Maharashtra, Jaipur, Bikaner, Kota, Jodhpur, Sriganaganagar, Hanumangarh in Rajasthan are the main trading centres of chana in the country. Delhi, Kanpur, Hapur, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Sangrur, Chennai, Hyderabad, Vijayawada and Gulbarga are also known for major trading activity in chana.
Chana is produced in MP, Rajasthan, UP, Maharashtra, AP, Karnataka and Gujarat. Its sowing starts in October and lasts till December. First arrival starts in Karnataka during Nov end while the last arrival in North Rajasthan is during April. Most of the area for chana is rain-fed but irrigation facilities are also available in some producing areas. Total annual consumption of India is nearly 50-55 lakh tons which fluctuates with the price movement.
Besides domestic output, India also imports around 300,000-400,000 ton chana per year. Main countries of imports are Canada, Australia, Iran and Myanmar.
There are currently only four significant exporters of chickpeas - Turkey, Australia, Mexico and Syria. The U.S. is the fifth largest exporter but that country imports much, much more, mainly Kabulis, than it exports.
India is the largest importer of chickpeas. India accounts for over 30% of all imports, almost all desis. Pakistan, Spain, and Bangladesh are the other three major importers.
India and surrounding countries import mainly the desi type, while countries in North and South America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa import mainly the kabuli type.
The price difference between desis and kabulis is partly related to the end user market. Kabulis tend to be used in relatively more affluent countries. Desis are primarily consumed on the Indian sub-continent where purchasing power isn't as great. Desi prices generally track edible yellow pea prices but at a considerable premium.
Factor affecting Productivity and the Price trend
**Rainfall pattern and temperature
**Total area covered
**Arrivals in the markets
**Demand from millers, stockists and retailers
**Production in the International markets.
**Production and trends of other pulses namely Urad and Tur in domestic and international markets and price of Yellow Pea.
**Import and export policies by the Indian Govt.
Madhya Pradesh (MP)
MP is the main chana producing area in India. During 2007-08, around 18 lakh tons were produced with nearly 22.11 lakh hectare sowing area. Production figure in expected to increase in 2008-09 as sowing area has increased to 26.31 lakh hectares. But overall production would also depend on weather conditions. If it remains favorable, production may increase here. Nearly entire MP produces chana but due to good irrigation facilities in nearby places of Satna, farmers are taking interest in paddy cultivation also. Here, nearly 12 types of chana are produced but Kantewala quality has the maximum production. Sowing starts during October to November while arrival starts in March.
Rajasthan is the second largest chana producing state in the country. During 2007-08, nearly 11 lakh ton chana was produced here with sowing figure of around 12.68 lakh hectares. However, production is expected to decrease in 2008-09 as cultivation area has reduced to a mere 10.32 lakh hectare. Many farmers have preferred cultivation of RM Seed due to better returns. Here, chana is cultivated as a rain-fed (Barani) crop in all the districts. So production figure fluctuates year to year. Rajasthan has the capacity to produce around 25-30 lakh tons chana if rains occur on time and farmers take full interest in its sowing. Mostly desi chana is produced in Rajasthan. Sowing starts in November to December which converts in arrival during March.
Chana is produced in southern parts of the state but its quality is low due to its slight mild toxic nature. Here, 5 lakh tons chana was produced in 2007-08 with the cultivation figure of nearly 5.88 lakh hectare. This is expected to increase to 8.49 lakh hectare in 2008-09. So, production is expected to increase during this period. It is cultivated in November while arrival starts in February.
Maharashtra is famous for producing good quality of chana like Govran, Chapa, and Annagiri. However, some other famous desi qualities are also produced here. During 2007-08, nearly 7 lakh tons chana was produced. This is expected to fall in 2008-09 as sowing area has decreased to 8.84 lakh hectare from 10.32 lakh hectare in 2007-08 due to lack of good rains. As per traders, production figure may fall to nearly 5 lakh ton here. Sowing time starts in October while arrival starts in January.
Mainly Annagiri quality is produced here. Around 4 lakh ton chana was produced during 2007-08 with a sowing figure of nearly 6.70 lakh hectare. However, production is likely to fall during 2008-09 in spite of increased sowing area, as rains did not occur timely. Telengana is the main producing belt of the state.
Mosami, Annagiri and Gulabi chana are the main qualities which are produced in Karnataka. During 2007-08, around 3 lakh tons chana was produced here with sowing figure of nearly 6.84 lakh hectare. In 2008-09, production is expected to increase slightly as sowing area has increased to 8.07 lakh hectare.
Gujarat produces a mere ~2 lakh tons chana in spite of being a big consuming state. Chana is produced here in Saurashtra, Kutch and northern Gujarat.
With a rise in sowing area, chana production in the country is expected to increase to 55 lakh tons during 2008-09. As per traders, if more rains occur and weather remain favorable, production figure may touch the level of nearly 60 lakh tons. During 2007-08, around 52 lakh tons chana was produced. Its prices mainly depend on the price of peas as traders prefer to make besan from it rather than chana.
Moreover, around 1.50 lakh ton chana is also imported from mainly Australia, Tanzania and Myanmar every year.