The State Marketing Federation of Maharashtra has sent a proposal to the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (Nafed) regarding opening 88 procurement centres in 23 districts of the state for the purchase of soybean under MSP (Minimum Support Price).
Soybean is expected to be procured at these centres from October 25. Moong and urad will be procured under MSP from October 18. Registrations for cotton procurement will commence from October 15, said Sadabhau Khot, minister of state for agriculture in Maharashtra.
Around 10 lakh quintals of soybean is expected to be purchased from farmers at these centres, officials said.
Farmer registrations for procurement of moong and urad began from October 3. New centres are expected to be opened in a couple of days for the registration of soybean procurement as well.
With the prices of soybean and pulses ruling below Minimum Support Prices (MSP), procurement of these commodities at MSP under the Centre’s Price Support Scheme (PSS) procurement has been planned through Nafed. Sadabhau Khot said that the government has begun registration of farmers for the PSS of the Centre which is being done by Nafed from October 3. At present, farmers are being issued tokens and given likely dates on which they need to bring their produce to the mandis. Around 116 centres will be opened for cotton purchase , he said.
Khot said that the state government has been given permission for the purchase of 10 lakh quintals of soyabean, 3.70 lakh quintals of urad and 3,47,500 quintals of moong. The MSP of soybean is `3,050 per quintal, urad is Rs 7,400 per quintal and moong is Rs 5,575 per quintal.
Usually in the festive season, the prices of the pulses increase and the trend starts ahead of the festive season. But this year, the trend has reversed and prices of kharif crops, mainly pulses, oilseeds, and cereals are seen below the Minimum Support Price (MSP).
Prices of green gram, black gram, and soybean have been most affected. The huge carryover stock, lack of demand and the hangover of demonetisation are considered to be the main reasons for the decline of prices.
A senior official from the agriculture department in Maharashtra said that the government has set parameters of 12% moisture content for the procurement of these pulses and at present the produce being brought to the market has moisture content levels of 14-16%, resulting in lower rates.
Nafed has begun procurement of pulses, mainly green gram from Karnataka and Telangana. It expects to start the procurement in Maharashtra, Gujarat and Rajasthan at the earliest.
The government of Maharashtra had sent its top officials to the Centre for the procurement of these commodities as these had fallen below MSP.
Hukumchand Kalantry, president, Latur Dal Millers Association and a major pulse trader based out of Latur, a key pulse growing region in the state, had said that the recent rains had arrived when these pulses were being harvested, causing damage.
“Most states including Rajasthan have begun harvesting moong and urad at the same time, causing a glut in the market. Moreover, the rains caused damage because of which the farmer cannot hold onto his crop, he said.