Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu today said prices of pulses are showing a downward trend due to “expected adequate production” in view of good monsoon as well as various government measures to tame inflation.
“Definitely those (prices of pulses) are coming down. Already we have seen the trend also. We are going to have adequate production and decided to have buffer stock of 20 lakh tonnes,” Naidu said on the sidelines of 12th Indo-US Economic Summit here.
Besides, the Centre is also “importing” pulses in order to keep a buffer stock for future needs. The government has also increased the minimum support price (MSP), he said.
India’s pulses production is expected to rise at 20 million tonnes in 2016-17 as farmers have grown pulses in larger area this year following good monsoon, high market prices and sharp increase in MSP.
Pulses production fell to 16.47 million tonnes in 2015-16 crop year (July-June) from 17.15 million tonnes the previous year. Pulses output was low in the last two crop years due to drought, resulting in spike of retail rates. At present, the retail prices are ruling in a range of Rs 115-170 per kg.
Last week, the government had directed procurement agencies, including NAFED, to buy tur, urad and moong directly from the farmers in all producing states for creating buffer stock, to supply lentils at cheaper rates and ensure support price for the growers.
Besides NAFED, the SFAC (Small Farmers Agribusiness Consortium) and the Food Corporation of India (FCI) are also undertaking pulses procurement.
Earlier in the month, Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan had said the wholesale prices of pulses were gradually falling and its impact would be reflected soon in retail markets as hoarders would not be able to hold their stocks for long with arrival of new crop.