MahaFPC — the apex body of FPCs — has already started building procurement centres at village cluster level for buying moong, udad and soyabean from this week
The government of Maharashtra has extended the deadline for online farmer registrations for the purchase of moong, urad and soyabean under the Minimum Support Price (MSP) scheme in the state.
The deadlines for online registrations for moong and udad have been extended to October 31 and for soyabean till November 15. Until now, some 25,722 farmers have registered for selling moong and acknowledgements have been sent to 4,217 farmers. Another 8,360 farmers have registered for sale of udad and 13,427 farmers have registered for the sale of soyabean at MSP.
Significantly, Maharashtra has become the first state to include farmer producer companies (FPCs) in the procurement process under the Price Support Scheme (PSS). MahaFPC — the apex body of FPCs — has already started building procurement centres at village cluster level for buying moong, udad and soyabean from this week. The FPC has been accorded the status of state level agency (SLA) for purchasing various commodities from farmers at MSP.
Currently, moong and udad are trading below their MSP of Rs 7,050 per quintal and Rs 5,600 a quintal. According to Lalitbhai Shah, chairman, Latur Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) — a key pulse producing region in the state — said moong arrivals are poor with some 1,500 quintals on a daily basis while prices are Rs 5,500-6,500 per quintal while udad is selling at Rs 5,000-5,500 per quintal for poor quality material and good quality udad is selling at Rs 6,500 per quintal.
Soyabean arrivals have begun in a small way at 3,600 quintals and the moisture content is above 15-16%. Shah highlighted that traders usually do not buy material if the moisture content is in the range of 10-11%.
MahaFPC managing director Yogesh Thorat said moong prices are ruling Rs 600-700 per quintal below MSP and udad prices at Rs 300-400 per quintal below MSP. Last year, the state had procured around 70,000 tonne of pulses, including 35,000 tonne of urad and 35,000 tonne of moong.
Targets for soyabean would be decided later as the season is likely to start in October, he had stated earlier. Thorat said that there had been no official communication yet on the targets of procurement set for Maharashtra but usually the thumb rule is 25% of production. This season, MahaFPC will be procuring some 9,000 tonne of moong and 10,000 tonne of udad.
The state government had set up a revolving fund of Rs 300 crore to ensure that no delay in payments occur, he said, adding that initially around Rs 100 crore will be available for making payments to farmers. Thorat said the total cost of the operation was expected to be around Rs 250 crore. Currently, some 34 procurement centres set up by the Vidarbha Cooperative Marketing Federation are active, another 95 centres have been set up by Maharashtra Cooperative Marketing Federation and 102 centres have been established by MahaFPC.
Thorat said that MahaFPC has a target of registering around 1 lakh farmers for the rabi and kharif seasons. This kharif, udad has been sown pan-India on around 38.14 lakh hectare as compared to 38.86 lakh hectare during the previous season, while moong has been sown on 30.77 lakh hectare as against 34.02 lakh hectare.
Moong is largely grown under rain-fed conditions and the first among the kharif crops is to be harvested in Karnataka. In Maharashtra, the delayed monsoon has impacted the acreage and it may result in lower output. The acreage there is around 3.2 lakh hectare as against last year’s 3.9 lakh hectare. Besides delayed monsoon, the shift in preference of farmers towards other crops such as cotton and soybean in several places have also impacted the acreage.