As market prices of pulses are dropping way below the minimum support price (MSP), the government is experiencing some difficulties in disposing of the pulses procured by it from farmers. Following a bumper tur (pulses) crop and falling prices, the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation (NAFED), a state-run cooperative, had extended the date for tur procurement.
With the procurement almost complete, senior government officials told The Indian Express that about 6 lakh tonnes of tur had been procured this time around. To speed up disposal of the procured tur, the government now has plans to use it for supplies of pulses to all government-run or government-affiliated canteens and institutions.
A discussion in this regard is expected to be taken in Tuesday’s cabinet meeting. Further, the state government has plans to approach the Union government with a request for channelisation of imports through government agencies, such as the State Trading Corporation Limited and the Metal and Minerals Trading Corporation of India, to ensure the imports do not lead to a further decline in open market prices.
To build a buffer stock of pulses, the government has entered into import agreements with suppliers in Myanmar, Malawi, and Mozambique. The imported pulses are priced much lower than the domestic supplies.