Government agencies FCI and Nafed have so far procured over 3,740 tonnes of pulses, especially moong and urad, at minimum support price (MSP), in the ongoing kharif marketing season.
Moong, tur and urad are the key kharif pulses, harvesting of which have begun in key growing states like Karnataka and Maharashtra.
“The government agencies have procured 3740.47 tonnes of pulses as on October 2 in the ongoing kharif marketing season,” the Food Ministry said in a statement.
State-run Food Corporation of India (FCI) and cooperative Nafed have procured 1075.34 tonnes and 2665.13 tonnes of kharif pulses, respectively, it said.
The two agencies have set up 417 procurement centres in pulses growing states to ensure farmers get at least minimum support price (MSP) for urad and moong.
“More centres will be set up if required on the arrival of tur crop,” the ministry noted.
As per Agriculture Ministry’s first estimates, kharif pulses’ output is estimated to increase sharply to 8.70 million tonnes in the 2016-17 crop year (July-June), from 5.54 million tonnes last year, buoyed by higher MSP and good rains.
The government is aiming to procure 50,000 tonnes of kharif (summer) pulses for its buffer stock, which was conceptualised only last year to address domestic shortages and check retail prices.
While retail prices are still ruling high, pinching consumers’ pocket, government’s concern has now shifted towards farmers as it wants to encourage them to continue growing pulses in the rabi season from next month.
The government has hiked sharply the MSP of kharif pulses and announced bonus on top of it to encourage pulses’ production this year. It has fixed moong MSP (including bonus) at Rs 5,225 per quintal, tur at Rs 5,050 per quintal and urad at Rs 5,000 per quintal for the ongoing 2016-17 kharif season.