Tur prices are likely to remain firm and go upwards in Maharashtra on the back of shortage of supply for the pulse due to drought in the state.
With Tur (Arhar) prices hovering in the range of the Minimum Support Price (MSP), Maharashtra has begun tur procurement in a small way.
Barely 433 quintal have been procured by the government procurement centres established until date, top officials of the Maharashtra State Cooperative Marketing Federation (MSCMF) said. Although the government has set a target of procuring 25 lakh quintal, senior officials revealed that these targets may not be met because prices are on the upward side and may soon cross the Rs 600-700 per quintal mark.
Tur prices are likely to remain firm and go upwards in Maharashtra on the back of shortage of supply for the pulse due to drought in the state. According to senior government officials, some 157 centres have been established which includes 29 centres of the Vidarabha Cooperative Marketing Federation (VMF) and 128 centres of the MDSCMF.
Some 13,793 farmers have registered in the centres set up by the federation and another 18,643 farmers have registered at the centres of VMF.
Officials said that SMS alerts have been sent to 515 farmers in the federation and 844 farmers in VMF.
Officials pointed out that response from farmers is poor.
“With tur in short supply, farmers are waiting in anticipation of higher prices and are not in a hurry to sell. They may approach the government centres at the end of the season if the prices drop below the MSP mark,” the official said.
The presence of these centres would keep prices firm, he added.
At Latur’s wholesale market, the average traded price of tur on Friday was around Rs 5,300-5,500 per quintal and arrivals were to the tune of 8,000-9,000 quintals. The MSP of tur has been fixed by the Centre at Rs 5,675 per quintal and market sources feel that the wholesale prices would firm up as the season progresses as the yield per acre has dropped down because of the drought.
The tur-producing states, including Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, had a dry spell, hence the production was very less, Nitin Kalantri, a major pulse trader in Latur had pointed out earlier.
For the present kharif season, Maharashtra has reported 12.2 lakh hectare of tur sowing.
Harvesting of the crop has started and is completed in most parts of the state. Tur is an important crop for farmers in Marathwada and Vidarbha who harvest the crop in January and February.
Latur and Akola are major wholesale markets. This season, there are reports of a 50% reduction in the tur crop because of drought in the state.
Officials from the state marketing department felt that the wholesale prices would soon cross the government mandated Minimum Support Price (MSP) and thus they might not meet the target of procurement for the season.
Maharashtra, Latur, Amravati, Jalgaon, Udgir, Akola and regions of Marathwada and Vidarbha are the main tur growing areas.
In 2017, the overproduction of tur became a cause of concern for farmers.
Consequently, in the next season, farmers cut down on tur sowing.
In 2016-17, India produced 231.3 lakh tonne of pulses. The following season (2017-18) was even better at 252.3 lakh tonne.
There was a steep jump of around 150% in pulses exports, with India shipping out 2.15 lakh tonne during April-November 2018 from 87,896 tonne during the same period of previous year.
In 2018-19, the production is likely to be 220 lakh tonne, just enough to meet India’s requirement of 250 lakh tonne.