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Masoor or Lentils, scientifically known as Lens culinaris, belongs to the family Fabaceae and sub family faboideas.
Masoor comes in different colours like yellow, red, orange, green, brown and black. After soybeans, lentils are the commodities with highest levels of proteins and fibers. The plant’s root grows to a deep of around 15 inches, which makes it a drought resistant shrub. It also helps in fixing nitrogen in the soil.
Masoor is said to be the oldest food legume in the world. The plant’s seed is high in carbohydrates, fibers and proteins. As the crop is good drought resistant shrub and fixes nitrogen in soil, it is also used as a secondary crop.
Lentils do not contribute much in the total pulses production in India, as the crop is not cultivated widely.
Canada dominates the world in Masoor production. Masoor was introduced to India before 1st century AD.
Cool growing conditions are suitable for Masoor. Light, fertile, well drained, black and alluvial soil is best suitable for Masoor cultivation.
In India, Lentil is a rabi crop, because it is planted in the months of November-December and February-March is the harvesting period. Late sowing decreases the yield but increases the protein content.
India consumes the entire domestic produce as the consumption in the country is increasing year by year. With the increasing domestic demand, India relies on imports to fill the gap. Early seeding increases the plant’s height and size.
India—with four tons output—is the second largest producer of lentils after Canada. But India is the top consumer of the pulse followed by China, Turkey, Japan, Syria and Spain.
Masoor producing states in India are Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Rajasthan, Haryana, Punjab, Assam and Maharashtra.
Major Masoor producing countries are Canada, India, Australia, Turkey, United States of America, Nepal, Ethiopia, Syria, Bangladesh and Iran.
Top Masoor importers are Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Egypt, Colombia, Spain, Algeria, Pakistan, Sudan, Mexico, Italy, France and India.
Major Masoor exporters are Canada, Turkey, Australia, India, United State of America, Syria, China, United Arab Emirates, Nepal and Belgium.