A production target of 26.30 million tonne for pulses and grains was set by the Union government for the year 2019-20.
In a major move that could bring down prices of pulses across the country, government has fixed a quota of import of 7 lakh tonne of pulses for the period April 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021. This includes 4 lakh tonne of tur, 1.5 lakh tonne each of moong and peas for the fiscal 2020-21.
A production target of 26.30 million tonne for pulses and grains was set by the Union government for the year 2019-20. However, the actual production would be reduced by 10% because of unseasonal rain and farmers holding their produce due to lack of transport, the All India Dal Millers Association has said.
Suresh Aggrawal, president All India Dal Mill Association, said that the government will now issue licences for import of 4 lakh tonne of tur and 1.5 lakh tonne of moong in addition to 1.5 lakh tonne of peas, thus, offering relief in the supply of raw material in the country. He said raw material can be easily imported from South Africa, Malawi, Mozambique, Kenya and Burma.
The millers’ body had earlier wanted the government to release the stocks held by National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (Nafed) to ensure that supplies are maintained following shortage in the wake of the lockdown due to the Covid-19 outbreak. He said that millers are facing transportation problems and shortage of raw material. Farmers are holding on to their produce due to lack of transport and there’s hardly any trading in APMCs, he said.
The government should start releasing the stocks to ensure that factories keep processing the pulses, he added. According to Aggarwal, a section of millers in key producing regions such as Indore, Kalaburgi, Akola, Himmatnagar and Nagpur, who have access to raw material and labour, have been running their operations to maintain the supply of dal.
As on March 26, the pulses stocks held by Nafed stood at over 22.32 lakh tonne, of which gram accounted for the most at over 14.88 lakh tonne.