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Punjab CM announced MSP but failed to catch market pulse: Private players buy 90% moong

Also, 82% of the total sold crops were purchased at 15% to 32% below the MSP rate, which is Rs 7,275 per quintal. Farmers are preferring to sell their crops to private players instead of selling them to the government.

Written by Anju Agnihotri Chaba |
June 30, 2022 5:35:59 am
Out of the total purchase, nearly 1.11 lakh quintals was sold at a rate between Rs 4,900 and Rs 6,100 per quintal which is 16% to 32% below the MSP rate.

Although Punjab government has issued a new policy this year to procure ‘summer moong’ at minimum support price (MSP), till date 90% of the crop has been purchased by private players and the government could buy just 10% of the total arrivals.

Also, 82% of the total sold crops were purchased at 15% to 32% below the MSP rate, which is Rs 7,275 per quintal.
Farmers are preferring to sell their crops to private players instead of selling them to the government. The conditions put for the government procurement at MSP are forcing them to do so. The procurement will continue till July-end. The data procured from Markfed, a nodal agency for moong procurement, revealed that till June 29, around 1.35 lakh quintals of moong has arrived in Punjab’s mandis. Of these, 1.20 lakh quintals has been purchased by private players and the government could procure only 13,890 quintals which is just 10% of the total sale.

Out of the total purchase, nearly 1.11 lakh quintals was sold at a rate between Rs 4,900 and Rs 6,100 per quintal which is 16% to 32% below the MSP rate.

Moong was to arrive in 58 mandis of the state where the Punjab government has appointed Markfed and cooperative societies as nodal agencies to procure the crop from the farmers and has also issued licences for purchase. The state has kept arhtiyas (commission agents) out from the government moong purchase who (arhtiyas) are only involved in private purchase now.

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Data revealed that the maximum crop (1.01 lakh quintals) arrived in Ludhiana district’s Jagraon mandi, out of which over 98,000 quintals has already been sold to the private players and the government purchase was just 2,453 quintals of the crop.

In Amritsar, 4,200 quintals of crop was purchased till date, out of which the government purchase was just 445 quintals; in Moga, 9,622 quintals of moong was purchased, out of which the government procurement was just 216 quintals; in Sangrur, 3,295 quintals of moong was purchased, out of which the government purchase was just 104 quintals; and in Tarn Taran, 2,915 quintals of moong was purchased, out of which the government purchase was zero; out of 3,399 quintals of moong purchased in Sunam, the government could procure only 104 quintals; out of the 1,140 quintals of moong procured in Ferozepur, the government could buy only 149 quintals.

Only in a couple of districts, the government purchase was more than the private players.

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Out of 5,400 quintals of moong sold till date in Barnala, the government purchase was 4,800 quintals. Similarly, of the nearly 4,200 quintals of moong sold in Bathinda, around 3,560 quintals was purchased by the government.

As per the data, Rs 4,900 per quintal moong was sold in Patiala’s mandi; Rs 5,090 per quintal in Sangrur’s mandi; Rs 5,000 per quintal in Tarn Taran’s mandi; Rs 5,500 per quintal in Mansa; Rs 5,280 per quintal in Faridkot, Rs 5,550 per quintal in Amritsar; and Rs 5,700 per quintal moong was sold in Ludhiana’s mandi.

“I had sown moong on 5 acres and got 6 quintals yield per acre. I wanted to sell it to the government, but there are several conditions that the farmers have to meet to sell it to the government. First, we need to provide ‘Fard’ (record of the land that moong was sown) to the procurement agency. Secondly, there are no proper criteria to analyse the crop, and MSP payment was also to be made in three instalments by the government,” said Gurdip Singh, a farmer, who sold his summer moong crop on June 13 in Jagraon mandi to a private player at Rs 6,125 per quintal.

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Also, the last installment would be given to the farmers only after the agriculture development officer’s (ADO) report which has to confirm that farmers have sown PR-126 rice variety, he added.

The government had announced that moong MSP would be given only when farmers go for short PR-126 rice variety after moong cultivation as the short varieties save water, he said.

Farmer Hans Raj, who had grown moong on 90 acres, sold his crop at Sunam mandi on June 25 at Rs 5,000 per quintal to a private player. He said that he got much below the MSP and the government’s claim stands exposed completely.
Punjab Arhtiya Association president Ravinder Singh Cheema said that Bhagwant Mann government’s MSP promise on moong was like the ‘debt waiver’ promise made by the previous Congress government, which first gave an impression of waiving entire debt of farmers and then put several conditions after coming to power.

“The government does not have proper infrastructure for cleaning the crop, and it is rejecting farmers’ crops on small issues, which is nothing but a big harassment to the farmers,” Cheema said, adding that with this small procurement, how the government can meet the demand of pulses in the state, which procures around 85% pulses from other states to meet its consumption.

He said that the state has kept arhtiyas out from government purchase of moong which is unjustified. “How can one be deprived of doing business,” Cheema said, adding that they are now helping farmers sell their crop to private players, as their only income is 2.5% commission and they always try that farmers get a high price.

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First published on: 30-06-2022 at 05:35:59 am

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