The arrivals of gram, or chana, a key rabi crop which has major share in the country’s total pulses output, have been slow in markets across major producing states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. Although the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation (Nafed) has commenced rabi procurement operations after purchasing more than a million tonne of kharif pulses (tur and moong) – supported by the Centre’s price stablisation fund – the arrivals have been sluggish, pushing the market prices above the minimum support price (MSP).
So far, Nafed has purchased around 20,000 tonne of gram from the three states by paying an average price of Rs 5,326 per quintal while the government had announced a MSP of Rs 4,000 per quintal, which includes Rs 200 per quintal as bonus. A Nafed official told FE that farmers have been holding on to the stocks in anticipation of a higher price later and the arrivals have been rather slow.
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Meanwhile, as per the second advance estimate of foodgrain production for 2016-17 crop year (July-June), released few months ago, the gram output is estimated at 9.12 million tonne (mt) against the previous year’s output of 7.06 mt. Overall, pulses output is estimated at 22.14 mt in 2016-17 against 16.39 mt estimated in the previous year.
“After the wheat procurement is completed in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, the farmers are expected to bring in more volume of gram into the mandis. However, the prices are expected to prevail above the MSP in the next couple of months,” the official said. Meanwhile, due to record kharif pulses output in 2016-17 crop year, the retail prices of tur and moong have fallen sharply across the country. The prices of pulses had skyrocketed from April last year, forcing the government to step up MSP operations and creation of 2 mt of pulses buffer stocks.