Move is aimed at curbing prices; Nafed to procure pulses from farmers
In a bid to curb spike in prices, cooperative Nafed would be procuring 40,000 tonne of pulses from farmers this year for creating a buffer stock.
“The procured pulses would be released in the market once the retail prices start moving upward,” minister of state for agriculture Sanjeev Kumar Balyan said on Friday.
“In the next few months when the kharif produce starts arriving in the market, Nafed would purchase 30,000 tonne of tur or arhar and 10,000 tonne of urad dal from farmers for creating a buffer stock,” Balyan said. The agri-cooperative would purchase pulses from the farmers by paying market prices.
According to an agriculture ministry official, Nafed would be allocated around R300 crore from the price stabilisaton fund (PSF) for carrying out procurement of pulses.
The prices of pulses, specially that of arhar and moong, have been steadily rising because of supply constraints since August. The retail price of arhar has crossed R150 a kg in many places across the country.
Besides private imports, the government-run MMTC has imported 5,000 tonne of tur dal to augment domestic supplies.
The country had imported 4.5 million tonne of pulses for meeting domestic shortfall last fiscal and in the current year the imports are expected to be around 4.1 million tonne. The country’s pulses production is estimated to have fallen to 17.38 million tonnes in 2014-15 from 19.25 MT in the previous crop year, due to a deficient monsoon last year. The annual domestic consumption of pulses is around 22 to 23 million tonne.
However, an agriculture ministry official said that in the forthcoming kharif harvest, the pulses production is expected to rise sharply.
Meanwhile, to deal with the perennial problem of price rise, the consumer affairs ministry has stressed for involvement of an independent agency for forecasting the availability and demand of key agricultural commodities in both domestic and global markets.
The prices of pulses have risen unabated for the past few months due to a fall in domestic output by about 2 million tonnes to 17.20 mt in 2014-15 crop year (July-June) owing to deficient monsoon and unseasonal rains.