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  1. After tur prices fall to all-time low, Maharashtra farmers agree to sell stock at market rates

After tur prices fall to all-time low, Maharashtra farmers agree to sell stock at market rates

Tur (arhar) prices in the state have crashed to an all- time low of Rs 3,950-4,050 per quintal for the ongoing season.

By: | Pune | Published: April 26, 2017 4:12 AM
The state government claims that over 40 lakh quintals of tur has been purchased through the procurement programme. (PTI)

Tur (arhar) prices in the state have crashed to an all- time low of Rs 3,950-4,050 per quintal for the ongoing season. This after the Centre’s extension of the deadline for the procurement of the pulse at MSP through NAFED and other agencies got over on April 22, leaving the farmers still holding over 25% of the stocks. The state government claims that over 40 lakh quintals of tur has been purchased through the procurement programme.

Hukumchand Kalantry, president, Latur Tur Dal Millers Association said that this has been the highest fall in tur prices for the current season and the last couple of seasons as well.

“Since this is the wedding season, farmers have been holding onto their stocks in anticipation of the government purchase. Instead they are now left with over 25% of their stocks. With June approaching fast, these farmers now require funds for seed purchase and prepare for the next season and therefore a delegation of farmers met the Latur APMC authorities saying that they are willing to sell at market rates,” he said.

Around 500 farmers in Latur — one of the key pulse producing regions in the state — met the officials of the Latur Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) on Tuesday expressing their willingness to sell their produce at market rates. The Latur market finally reopened on Tuesday after a 15-day gap after the farmers said that they are willing to sell their produce at market rates, which have dropped down to Rs 4,000 per quintal in Latur, according to Lalitbhai Shah, chairman of Latur APMC.

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In the second week of April, Shah had said that the district collector had written to the Market Committee warning legal action if tur is sold below MSP. The MSP was fixed at Rs 5,050 per quintal and market prices that time were at Rs 4,500-4,600 per quintal.

Traders were willing to purchase at current market rates but since the government had threatened legal action, they were not buying. Around 70,000 quintals of the produce was lying in the market yard and daily arrivals were to the tune of 50,000 quintals, Shah had said. As a result, the market remained shut. Shah added that the officials now decided to reopen it since the farmers are willing to sell at market rates after giving the Market Committee a written communication to this effect.

A day before the Centre’s April 15 deadline for the ambitious pulse procurement programme, Maharashtra cooperation minister Subhash Deshmukh had declared that Nafed has granted permission for the procurement of tur ( arhar) in the state for another 7 days beyond this deadline.Farmers across Maharashtra, especially from key tur producing regions in the state, have been upset with the government for the slow procurement of tur. In several locations, Nafed has already written to the Agriculture Produce Market Committees (APMCs), informing them that the procurement centres have been closed and no more procurement will be possible. Accordingly, procurement of tur came to a halt.

Raju Shetty, Kolhapur MP and BJP ally in Maharashtra, has demanded an investigation into Nafed’s purchase of tur under the government procurement programme in the state. He alleged that the Nafed officials have purchased tur from traders after presenting bogus 7/12 extracts of fictitious farmers.

“I have written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on this issue and have said that this purchase must be investigated,” Shetty said.

Raghunathdada Patil, president of the Shetkari Sanghatana has warned of an agitation by farmers if the government stops tur purchase. He said that it is the responsibility of the government to continue the procurement of tur at MSP.

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