The market committees instead have been told to create awareness among farmers and encourage them to opt for the pledge financing scheme that offers 75% advance to farmers at a low interest of 0.5%.
After commencing procurement of tur under the government’s procurement programme at the minimum support price (MSP), the government of Maharashtra has sought permission from the Centre for the procurement of Chana as well. Chana prices remain subdued ranging between Rs 4,000 to Rs 4,400 per quintal.
Maharashtra cooperation minister Subhash Deshmukh said that government has directed all the Agriculture Produce Market Committees in the state not to allow sale of Chana below MSP. The market committees instead have been told to create awareness among farmers and encourage them to opt for the pledge financing scheme that offers 75% advance to farmers at a low interest of 0.5%, he said. The farmers can then sell chana when the prices firm up, he added.
Market committees now have the power to cancel licences of traders for purchase below MSP, he stated. The Centre has fixed MSP of Chana at Rs 4,620 per quintal and the online registration for the crop has begun.
An official, meanwhile, pointed out that response from farmers for tur is poor.
“With tur in short supply, farmers are waiting in anticipation of higher prices and are not in a hurry to sell. They may approach the government centres at the end of the season if the prices drop below the MSP mark,” the official said. The presence of these centres would keep prices firm. In Latur, one of the key pulse producing regions in the state, tur prices ranged between Rs 5,200 to Rs 5,300 per quintal.
Latur and Akola are major wholesale markets. This season, there are reports of a 50% reduction in the tur crop because of drought in the state.Officials from the state marketing department felt that the wholesale prices would soon cross the government mandated MSP and thus they might not meet the target of procurement for the season. Maharashtra, Latur, Amravati, Jalgaon, Udgir, Akola and regions of Marathwada and Vidarbha are the main tur growing areas.
In 2017, the overproduction of tur became a cause of concern for farmers. Consequently, in the next season, farmers cut down on tur sowing. Around 6,180 farmers have registered online for the government’s procurement scheme at the procurement centres established at Nanded, Parbhani and Hingoli districts by NAFED and Vidarbha Cooperative Marketing Federation. However, only 127.50 quintals of the crop has been purchased so far from 127 farmers in these districts. The government has extended the date of registration to March 10, 2019 from February 23, 2019 earlier. The tur purchase is expected to continue till May 7.
Farmers in Sangrampur taluka of Buldhana district and Latur in Maharashtra staged a morcha seeking their pending payments from the government for tur purchased from them in the last season.The morcha was led by Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana, which has demanded that the money be given to farmers.
Pulses output, too, is seen lower at 24.02 MT from record 25.23 MT during the period under review. Among non-foodgrain crops, total oilseeds production during 2018-19 is estimated at 31.50 MT as against 31.3 MT in the previous year.