Pulses’ prices are likely to rise further with the acreage in Maharashtra dropping down to 17 lakh hectares this kharif season from 25 lakh hectares in the previous year.
According to senior officials of the State Agriculture Department, pulses have been sown on 17 lakh-odd hectares.
The production is likely to reduce this year as there have been pest attacks on the crop leading to its wilting in the state, they said.
According to a recent Assocham report, increase in prices of pulses may register highest growth this year due to untimely rains which have severely affected 2.28 million tonne (MT) of rabi crop and widened the gap between demand and supply to the extent of 6 million tonne. “Currently, pulses’ prices are heading for a two-year high and the unseasonal rain in north India is resulting in humongous crop losses,” the study said.
As against recommended daily requirement of 50-60 gram, current availability of pulses is less than 30 gram per day.
Madhya Pradesh is the largest producer of pulses in the country, followed by Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. Indicatively, trade sources estimate kharif pulses’ production at 5.3 million tonne and rabi pulses at 2.2 million tonne which add up to 7.5 million tonne for the crop year 2014-15, a decline of 2.28 million tonne over last year. Sumer Singh Rajput, official in charge of pulses at the Agriculture Research Centre, Jalgaon, says the late sowing and poor rains are likely to affect productivity.
As per data available with the Agriculture Department, in the kharif season, usually around 22,46 lakh hectares come under pulse production. This year too a target of 25 lakh hectares was set. However, around 17 lakh hectares came under cultivation and resowing operations also have not been very successful, officials said.
The area under tur dal has gone down by 15%, urad dal by 45% and moong dal by 32%. Jalgaon, Dhule and Nandurbar districts has 60% area coming under pulses. Marathawada, Latur, Osmanabad regions have 67% area under pulses.
Officials said productivity could also drop to less than 20 kg per acre for moong dal. Less prodcutivity is expected for tur dal as well. At present, the prices of tur dal have touched R9,000 per quintal while both urad and moong have touched figures of Rs 100 per kg.