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Pulses, oilseeds procurement at 50% of target with two weeks left

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NEW DELHI: The government has so far procured 1.8 million tonnes of kharif season pulses and oilseeds, which is less than half of the sanctioned procurement quantity of 3.78 million tonnes, even as procurement ends this month.

National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd (Nafed), the government agency that buys pulses and oilseeds from farmers, attributed low procurement to lower than expected production and firm prices of a few pulses.

“There was drought like situation in Gujarat and Maharashtra, which led to lower production,” a senior Nafed official said on condition of anonymity.

The person also said prices of certain pulses such as toor dal went up in the market due to Nafed intervention. “We can’t buy produce at more than MSP (minimum support price). Farmers are getting better realisation,” the official said. “Similarly, market price of soyabean was also more than the support price.”

Last year, the government had purchased a record 2.55 million tonnes of pulses and oilseeds, achieving 75% of the targeted 3.36 million tonnes of summer harvest.

The procurement of winter pulses and oilseeds, which is likely to be completed by July this year, is also showing slow progress. As on May 15, the government has bought 1.09 million tonnes as against the sanctioned 4.55 million tonnes, according to data from Nafed.

The government has so far spent Rs 9,973.83 crore out of the Rs 19,250.50 crore allocated for procuring pulses and oilseeds of summer crops, benefitting 1,339,148 farmers, Nafed data showed. For the winter crops, the government has allocated Rs 20,599.67 crore. “The government has bought winter produce worth Rs 4,823.67 crore, benefitting 533,163 farmers,” the Nafed official said. “The procurement is still underway, and it is likely to be over by July.”

Source: Economic Times