FARMER-Producer Companies (FPCs), who had entered the fray to procure pulse from farmers, are all set to cease operations in the next few days.
Yogesh Thorat, managing director of the Maharashtra Farmer Producer Companies Federation, said they have almost met the targets set by them. In view of the increased arrival of the produce, their procurement centres will not be entertaining non-members henceforth, he added.
In view of the 20 per cent increase in acreage of pulses, the central government had mandated creation of a buffer stock of pulses, of which 20,000 metric tonnes (MT) was to be done by the Federation.
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Thorat said they have been running 110 centres in 19 districts. “Till date, we have finished procurement of 25,000 MT, as against the mandated 20,000 MT. We had asked for and got our limits increased by 15,000 MT so we will continue procurement of 10,000 MT of pulses more,” he said.
In view of the increased arrival of pulses in the market, the federation has decided not to procure from non members.
This was the first year when the central government had allowed FPCs to start procurement centres to prevent price fall. However, Thorat said, they are facing acute shortage of Warehouses, which has slowed down their procurement. “Better coordination was necessary for making this program a success,” he said.
The bumper kharif and rabi yields has clogged the wholesale mandis with pulses trading much below MSP of Rs 50 per quintal at 80 per cent of the mandis.
The procurement centres operated by the Maharashtra State Cooperative Marketing Federation have been observing long queues with farmers having to wait for almost 2-3 days before selling their produce. Farmers have started distress sale of their produce in lack of any other alternatives.
In view of the condition, Pravin Dongre, chairman of the Indian Pulses and Grain Association (IPGA) said the government should remove stock limit imposed earlier on traders and millers. “Last year in view of scarcity the government had imposed the stock limit but now it should be remove at least at places where the price has gone below MSP,” he said.
Dongre added that export ban on pulses should be removed to allow, for the glut to be removed. Chana daal, which was scarce last year, has seen a sharp rise and prices, as expected, have dipped. “The main crops from Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh are yet to arrive at the mandis and the prices will dip further,” he said.
However, the price slide in the wholesale markets has not been translated into windfall gains for the end consumer. Dongre pointed out that the prices of split and processed daals on the shelves, was still trading at Rs 120-150 per kg and no price correction has been noticed here.