Tur prices fall below Minimum Support Price in Maharashtra

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Pune | Published: February 9, 2017 3:42:18 AM

Traders have refused to pay the bonus to farmers stating that the government should credit the amount to farmer accounts on basis of the sale receipts and it is not their mandate to make bonus payments.

Tur prices have fallen to R4,600-4,700 per quintal while the government MSP is at R4,625 with an additional bonus of R425 per quintal declared by the government.Tur prices have fallen to R4,600-4,700 per quintal while the government MSP is at R4,625 with an additional bonus of R425 per quintal declared by the government.

With arrivals in full peak and Tur (Arhar) prices falling below Minimum Support Price (MSP) levels, the Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) in Latur — one of the biggest pulse producing regions in Maharashtra — remained shut for four days over the issue who would pay the government bonus of R425 per quintal declared to farmers. Although the market reopened on Wednesday to a lukewarm response from both farmers and traders, uncertainty remains over how long the market would remain open.

Traders have refused to pay the bonus to farmers stating that the government should credit the amount to farmer accounts on basis of the sale receipts and it is not their mandate to make bonus payments.

Tur prices have fallen to R4,600-4,700 per quintal while the government MSP is at R4,625 with an additional bonus of R425 per quintal declared by the government. According to Lalitbahi Shah, chairman, Latur APMC, the market was shut over several issues including pressure to sell first to government agency Nafed and then to traders. Nafed is among the agencies selected by the Centre to procure tur from the market for the creation of a 1 million tonne buffer stock.

The Small Farmers Agriculture-Business Consortium (SFAC) is procuring some 40,000 tonnes of the commodity through farmer producer companies. The Government of India has directed SFAC, Nafed and FCI to procure tur at MSP plus bonus for addition to the buffer stock.

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However, as opposed to daily arrivals of 15,000 quintals, Nafed only manages to weigh around 3,000-4,000 quintals while the rest of the stock goes as carry forward, he said. Moreover, the Tur is purchased only if it meets the quality parameters and while Red tur is purchased by Nafed the white Tur and mixed tur (Red and white) is not purchased by Nafed, he said.

These arrivals are to the tune of 4,000-5,000 quintals daily, Shah said. Moreover, farmers who come from long distances to sell Tur expect at least 50% of the payment and are handed cheques for payments after 15 days and are disappointed that they do not get some cash for their daily needs, he said.

Shah said the market has been reopened on the condition that farmers should give NOCs that they are willing to sell below MSP if the product does not fall within the government quality parameters. Shah said that the APMC has written to the government seeking intervention.

According to Hukumchand Kalantry, president, Latur Dal Millers Association, Latur is being singled out for step motherly treatment. “There is immense pressure on traders not to purchase below MSP from farmers while the rates have fallen to 4,000-4,400 per quintal in Vidarbha markets including Akola, Khamga, Washim, Hingoli there is no government pressure here.

The same rule should apply to every Mandi and not just Latur,” he said, Moreover, according to a government resolution, the government should give the bonus to the farmer after making the necessary sale receipts and the amount of R425 should go to the farmer accounts directly.

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