Maharashtra's pulses procurement programme for moong and urad and oilseeds, including soyabean, has almost come to a standstill on poor arrivals in the market and prices hovering around the Minimum Support Price (MSP). According to senior government officials, till date some 99,530 quintal of moong has been purchased from 18,576 farmers since the start of the procurement programme. Around 51,938 quintals of urad have been purchased from 9,007 farmers and barely 2,000 quintal of soyabean has been purchased so far. Nearly 53,000 farmers have registered for moong, 50,000 farmers for urad and 1 lakh farmers for soyabean under the government\u2019s procurement programme. The government had extended the date of registrations for soyabean farmers in the state under the procurement scheme to January 5, 2019. Soyabean has been trading at Rs 3,330 to Rs 3,390 per quintal while the MSP is at Rs 3,390. Urad is trading at Rs 4,800 to Rs 5,200 per quintal while the MSP is Rs 5,575 per quintal and moong is trading at `5,000-5,500 per quintal while the MSP is Rs 6,975 per quintal. Officials pointed out that farmers are preferring to sell to private traders since prices are near MSP. Because of the drought in the state, everyone is holding onto their stocks in the hope that prices may rise further, the official said. Arrivals are therefore poor, he said, adding that the procurement programme is meant to support farmers and if prices were in the MSP range it is beneficial to the farmers. At present, moong arrivals are around 1,000-1,500 quintals per day, urad arrivals touch some 2,000-2,500 quintals a day and soyabean arrivals are to the tune of 10,000 quintals a day in Latur, said Nitin Kalantri, one of the major pulses traders. Several soyabean farmers, however, have taken advantage of the agricultural pledge financing scheme run by the government and nearly 650 farmers have pledged some 27,000 quintals of soyabean with the mandi, said Lalitbhai Shah, chairman, Latur APMC. These farmers can sell their commodities when the prices get healthier, he added. As per SOPA estimates, the actual area in Maharashtra is 36.390 lakh hectare which is 10% less than the government estimates of 40.433 lakh hectare. The Maharashtra government has targeted procurement of 3.5 lakh quintal of moong, 4 lakh quintal of urad and 25 lakh quintal of soyabean. Lalitbhai Shah, chairman, Latur APMC said that tur has started to trickle in the market and some 4,000 quintals had arrived in the market on Wednesday. Tur is trading at Rs 4,700-4,800 per quintal. Why will farmers sell in the procurement centres when the traders are offering more, he asked. The season for moong and urad is almost over and because of the drought farmers are holding onto stocks, he said, adding that prices may not go down but may rise because of lower stocks.The government has declared a severe drought in 112 talukas and medium drought in 39 talukas. In addition, another 250 Mandals have been identified for drought relief measures. Also read: Ordinance Push: Maharashtra deregulates all agri-produce from APMC Act In Maharashtra, the production of Moong is slated to touch 14.7 lakh quintals, Udad 14.7 lakh quintals and 450 lakh quintals of soybean. The Centre has planned to procure 44 lakh tonnes of oilseeds and pulses from farmers at MSPs in the ongoing kharif marketing season.