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Procurement

Prices fall below MSP; pulses procurement to begin soon

The Nafed is learnt to have given these states a target of nearly 15 lakh tonne.The Nafed is learnt to have given these states a target of nearly 15 lakh tonne.

With prices of pulses ruling below the minimum support price (MSP), the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation (Nafed) has decided to begin procurement from Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, senior industry people said.

The Nafed is learnt to have given these states a target of nearly 15 lakh tonne. Maharashtra has been given a target of 2.89 lakh tonne for tur. This will be undertaken by the Maharashtra State Cooperative Marketing Federation, Vidarbha Cooperative Marketing Federation, Maharashtra Farmers Produce Company (MahaFPC) – the apex body of FPCs in the state – and Prithashakti Farmer Producer Company.

Ex-mill prices of tur in Latur and Akola have gone down below the MSP of Rs 6,000 per quintal. Tur has been cultivated across 47.10 lakh hectare in the country and 12.36 lakh hectare in Maharashtra, where procurement is set to begin from January 20.

Suresh Agrawal, president, All India Dall Millers Association, said price trends in tur and chana are likely to remain bearish, thanks to a good crop outlook. “Tur prices were at Rs 7,000-8,000 per quintal in September-October 2020. However, the Nafed did not sell at that point. After tur imports of nearly 4 lakh tonne began, the Nafed also brought its stocks in the market and started selling at Rs 5,400-5,500 per quintal. Therefore, farmers started getting below MSP rates for their produce,” Agrawal said. “Initially, imports were restricted till November 15, but later extended to December 31, which dragged prices…”.

Nitin Kalantri, a pulse trader from Latur, said prices have dropped drastically due to imports. Initial estimates were for a bumper crop, but wilt attacks have been reported, which may affect the per acre yield. Production is likely to be 25% less due to the yield loss in Maharashtra and Karnataka, he said. “Prices should rule Rs 5,400-5,500 per quintal on the downside and Rs 6,200 per quintal on the upward side till March end.”

Currently, arrivals are to the tune of 3000 quintal and could pick up after Makar Sankranti, he said. Harvesting has already begun in Karnataka which could cause a fall in prices. The chana season is likely to commence from February, and prices are on the lower side, with the Nafed selling stocks.

Yogesh Thorat, MD, MahaFPC, said farmer registrations in the state have touched 50,000. MahaFPC has set up around 170 purchase centres and Maharashtra Marketing Federation has set up 167 centres. The Vidarbha Cooperative Marketing Federation will set up 30-odd centres.

Traders said the decision of the Nafed to start procurement would help correct the price slide.

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