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Monday, December 09, 2019

Maharashtra: Higher prices drive farmers to opt for open markets over govt procurement centres

In Maharashtra, the government procurement agencies, including Maharashtra Cooperative Marketing Federation, Vidarbha Cooperative Marketing Federation and MahaFPC, were entrusted to procure moong, urad and soya bean at government-notified minimum support price (MSP).

Written by Parthasarathi Biswas | Pune | Published: December 4, 2019 8:34:25 am
Maharashtra: Higher prices drive farmers to opt for open markets over govt procurement centres Farmers who wish to sell their produce need to register with procurement centres and can sell at notified MSP. (Express photo)

THE FARMERS’ response to government-run procurement centres in the state has been low due to higher prices of pulses and soya bean in the open market. The response is exceptionally poor for urad, with procurement centres reporting only 0.3 tonnes of the pulse in the state.

In Maharashtra, the government procurement agencies, including Maharashtra Cooperative Marketing Federation, Vidarbha Cooperative Marketing Federation and MahaFPC, were entrusted to procure moong, urad and soya bean at government-notified minimum support price (MSP). While the procurement of moong started on October 1, that of urad and soya bean was to start from November 1. Farmers who wish to sell their produce are required to register with procurement centres and can sell at the notified MSP.

Two months after it started, the three agencies have reported procurement of 2,099.3 tonnes of moong while just 0.3 tonnes of urad and 26.23 tonnes of soya bean. Officers of the cooperation department said it was unlikely that the agencies will be able to meet their targets, given the poor response. Yogesh Thorat, managing director of MahaFPC — the umbrella body of farmer producer companies (FPC) in the state — said this was mostly because of better prices the commodities were fetching in the open market.

“Most farmers prefer to offload their produce in the open market instead of coming to government-run centres,” he said.

Prices at Latur’s wholesale market have been hovering near their MSP, which traders said was mostly due to crop loss caused by unseasonal rain in Maharashtra as well as Madhya Pradesh. Thus moong, whose MSP is Rs 7,050 per quintal, is trading on an average Rs 6,200 per quintal, while urad, whose MSP is Rs 5,700 per quintal, is now trading at Rs 7,500 per quintal. Similarly, soya bean is trading at Rs 3,875/ per quintal as against its MSP of Rs 3,710 per quintal.

Latur-based dal miller and trader Nitin Kalantari said the present trend was a result of crop loss across the country due to unseasonal rain in September and October. “In case of moong and urad, the sowing was low due to the delay in the onset of monsoon,” he said. Price trends, Kalantari said, will continue the same way as overall availability of pulses will be hit in the upcoming season.

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