The procurment of pulses from Maharastra farmers at the minimum support price (MSP) will begin on December 25.
The procurment of pulses from Maharastra farmers at the minimum support price (MSP) will begin on December 25. Even though the fresh produce is yet to arrive in the market, prices of tur dal have already fallen below the MSP in some parts of Maharashtra, including Akola, to around R4000-4400 per quintal, triggering concerns among farmers and traders.
According to Yogesh Thorat, MD, Maharashtra Federation of Farmer Produce Companies (MahaFPC), since prices have fallen below MSP in some regions, procurement will commence from December 25 under the Price Support Scheme (PSS) of the Centre. If prices are above MSP, then procurement happens at market rates under the Price Stabilisation Fund (PSF).
The Federation has signed an MoU with the Small Farmers Agri-Business Consortium (SFAC) for procurement of tur for Maharashtra. The Centre has fixed MSP at R5,050 per quintal.
Thorat said he met top officials of SFAC and the consumer affairs secretary in New Delhi to discuss issues related to procurement as pulse growers have been seeking intervention from the Centre. This is the first time any federation of farmer produce companies will begin procurement of pulses on such a large scale.
The federation has already opened 84 procurement centres in Maharashtra and is planning to set up 100 procurement centres, he said. The federation aims to buy 20,000 tonnes in the state but the quantity is likely to increase later, he said.
Thorat said that the farmer producer companies attached to the federation have started awareness drives among farmers in 21 districts and 45 talukas of the state.
At least 84 FPCs are part of this initiative. In addition to FPCs, government offices have also been tapped by the federation . If this effort succeeds, a new model in pulse procurement will emerge in the country, Thorat said, adding that there are plans to provide end-to-end solutions and offer processed pulse to consumers as well.
Huge quanity of pulse is also expected from Gulbagra in Karnata. Besides, fresh crops are likely to reach their peak once the harvesting will be in full swing in Vidarbha and Marathwada after Amavas (new moon) on December 28-29 as per the local tradition. Bimal Kothari, vice chairman, Indian Pulses and Grains Association, said that the government should ensure that there are no distress sales by farmers.