Concerned about the constant fluctuation in the wholesale prices of tur, the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation (NAFED) has decided to begin the government procurement of the pulse soon. Maharashtra has been given a target of 2.89 lakh tonne (lt) of tur procurement, which would be undertaken by the various marketing agencies of the state government and the Maha Farmers Produce Company (FPC) – the apex body of FPCs in the state.
Considerably before the actual arrival of tur, ex-mill prices of the commodity in the growing hubs of Latur and Akola have gone below the government-notified Minimum Support Price (MSP) of Rs 6,000 per quintal. For the present season, India has seen tur cultivation on over 47.10 lakh hectare (lh) of land, while Maharashtra has reported tur being cultivated on 12.36 lh of land.
Initial estimates had talked about a bumper crop, but wilt attacks have been reported since, which take a toll on per acre yields.
Traders at Latur’s wholesale market had primarily attributed the slide in wholesale prices to the NAFED’s decision to liquidate its stock as well the Central government extending the arrival date of imported tur till the end of December. Both these measures, they said, had played a negative role in the price discovery of tur, with the pulse expected to trade below the MSP once the arrivals start. Many felt that the decision of NAFED to start procurement would help in correcting the price slide.
Sources in the MahaFPC said that they have decided to procure one lt of tur in more than 300 procurement centers run by their member FPCs. Farmers who wish to sell their produce at the centers have to register online, which may be done by submitting their aadhar card details, 7/12 land extracts, etc. Once the registration is complete, farmers will get an SMS announcing the date when they are expected to bring their produce for sale.
Farmer registration is expected to start from December 28, while the date for the beginning of procurement will be announced later.
Meanwhile, crop loss has been reported from the districts of Latur, Osmanbad, Nanded, Hingoli and Latur due to rain and wilt attacks on the standing crop. In some areas, instead of the 6-7 quintal per acre yield, farmers have reported far lower yields of 4-4.5 quintal.
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