Area under pulses may shrink 10% this season

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Published: July 31, 2019 1:45:47 AM

There could a 10% deficit in sowing of pulses this kharif across the country although the current drop in pulses cultivation is nearly 18.58% compared to last year, industry people said.

While Moong cultivation dropped to 20.48 lakh hectares against 27.20 lakh hectares the previous year. Other pulses also dropped to 6.56 lakh hectares versus 10.75 lakh hectares last year.

There could a 10% deficit in sowing of pulses this kharif across the country although the current drop in pulses cultivation is nearly 18.58% compared to last year, industry people said.

While an area of 102 lakh hectares was covered in the same week last year, the planting has been completed only on 83 lakh hectares this week, according to the latest data released by the Union agriculture minister.

Madhya Pradesh reported a 2.1 lakh hectares and 1 lakh hectares drop in urad and urad planting, respectively, moong cultivation is down to 11.87 lakh hectares compared to last year’s 15.86 lakh hectares in Rajasthan.

A dip in pulses cultivation has also been reported from Karnataka, where tur and moong acreages are down by 2.3 lakh hectares and 1.7 lakh hectares, respectively. Maharashtra also reported a drop in pulses cultivation this season. Tur cultivation, so far, is 29.58 lakh hectares this kharif versus 23.57 lakh hectares, urad planting is down to 26 lakh hectares compared to 28.97 lakh hectares last year.

While Moong cultivation dropped to 20.48 lakh hectares against 27.20 lakh hectares the previous year. Other pulses also dropped to 6.56 lakh hectares versus 10.75 lakh hectares last year.

According to Nitin Kalantri, major pulse trader from Latur, a key pulse producing region in Maharashtra, there could be a 10% drop in cultivation of pulses. Other traders in the state were of the same opinion. “Sowing has ended for most pulses and there has been a 70-80% rain deficit in Marathwada region in the state. On an all-India basis, this deficit could be made up by Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan where there have been good rains,” he said.

“All are predicting a price rise in the market and, currently, it is a sell on rise market (on price rise). For the last one-and-a-half months, prices have been stable. But going forward, demand should pick up from August when the festive season begins. The government has a buffer stock of 6-7 lakh tonne of tur and 20 lakh tonne of Chana. While the current stand is not to sell under MSP, since the current stocks are old, this would be the right time to bring out the stocks,” he said.

Of the 20.54 lakh hectares usually cultivated in the state, pulses so far have been sown on 14.49 lakh hectares. Tur production in the state last year had come down to 30 lakh tonne from 47 lakh tonne the year ago. In Maharashtra, Latur, Amravati, Jalgaon, Udgir, Akola and other regions of Marathwada and Vidarbha are the main tur growing regions. In 2017, the overproduction of tur had became a cause of concern for farmers.

Meanwhile, procurement of pulses by the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India has dropped 58.4% to 18.7 lakh tonne in the 2018-19 kharif and rabi marketing seasons. Last year, the federation bought 45 lakh tonne pulses. The agency had procured urad, moong and tur in the kharif marketing season, beginning October, and masur and chana in the rabi marketing season beginning April. Nafed, currently, has 37 lakh tonne of pulses stock, including a buffer of 14 lakh tonne, as per market reports.

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