With prices of arhar or tur dropping way below the minimum support price (MSP) to R4,400-4,500 in the country’s key producing regions, the Small Farmers Agriculture-Business Consortium (SFAC) will soon begin procuring some 40,000 tonnes of the commodity through farmer producer companies. This is part of the Centre’s initiative to create a buffer stock of some 20 lakh tonnes of assorted pulses.
Of the 40,000 tonnes of tur to be procured by the consortium, 50% would be procured from Maharashtra, SFAC director SK Singh told FE. In addition to Maharashra, SFAC will be procuring tur from Karnataka, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. The total estimated cost of funds for the procurement comes up to R240 crore, he said. According to Singh, procurement has already begun in Karnataka and is likely to commence in Maharashtra soon. In addition to SFAC, the Centre plans to procure the commodity from NAFED and FCI.
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Singh was in Pune on Friday to meet the member farmer producer companies (FPOs) of the Maharashtra Federation of Farmer Produce Companies (MahaFPC) to discuss operational plans for the procurement of tur so that member FPOs get the benefit of MSP and farmers are not forced to make any distress sales.
Farmers are also being encouraged to adapt cashless transactions and purchase system for online payments is being created. Maharashtra State Warehousing Corporation (MSWC) has been directed to make advance reservations at respective locations so that the FPOs can make purchases and store the pulses.