The decision of the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation (NAFED) to offload its stock of pulses right at the start of the harvest season has raised many an eyebrow. This, market sources said, will directly affect the realisation of the farmers.
Under the Price Support Scheme, NAFED procures pulses and oilseeds directly from the farmer at the Minimum Support Price (MSP) declared by the government. As of June, NAFED had a 41 lakh tonnes (lt) buffer stock of pulses, the highest-ever in the history of the cooperative body. This stock of pulses included chana (20 lt), urad (3.02 lt), moong (1.47 lt) toor (1.42 lt) and masoor (1.19 lt). This stock was to act as the buffer for the government to intervene in case of abnormal price rise.
At present, NAFED has undertaken the sales of urad, moong, masoor and groundnut. Of these, urad and moong are kharif crops and their arrivals have started in the wholesale markets. Average traded value of urad at Latur’s wholesale market is Rs 6,000 per quintal, higher than its MSP of Rs 5700 per quintal. But rates of moong (Rs 6,000 per quintal) and toor (Rs 5,300 per quintal) is lower than their MSP of Rs 7,050 and Rs 5,800 per quintal, respectively. While moong and toor have started arriving in the market, the arrival of toor — a longer duration crop — is yet to begin. While procurement by NAFED has been done at the MSP, it is selling at prices below MSP.