The Maharashtra government has extended the deadline for registration of farmers for tur till April 15 and has sought permission from the Centre to extend procurement dates to May 15.
The procurement for tur in Maharashtra is set by the Centre on March 29. So far, the total registered farmers in Maharashtra is 434,896 farmers. MahaFPC, the apex body of farmer producer companies in Maharashtra and a sub-agent for NAFED for undertaking MSP operations, has commenced the purchase of tur.
The Vidarbha Cooperative Marketing Federation has procured 1,70,242.8 quintal from 15,717 farmers. Markfed procured 3,04,510.9 quintal from 33,615 farmers while MahaFPC has procured 1,10,038.9 quintal from 13,975 farmers.
Yogesh Thorat, managing director, MahaFPC, said the apex body had purchased 1,10,038.9 quintal. Tur dal which is harvested in December-January is also selling at Rs 4,500-4,800 per quintal (below the MSP of Rs 5,800). The coronavirus outbreak has impacted procurement operations. The government has stopped cotton procurement but tur procurement continues, he said. The outbreak has hit prices of both perishables and non- perishables, he said.
The state has set a target of 2.24 lakh tonne of tur. In Maharashtra, the procurement operations are undertaken by the Maharashtra State Cooperative Marketing Federation and MahaFPC. MahaFPC has set up 122 centres of which 118 are currently active, Thorat said.
Significantly, the country is staring at a bumper harvest in chana starting this month. The area sown under gram was 10.5 million hectares, which is about 10% higher than in the previous year. Total area sown under rabi pulses till January 15 was 15.7 million hectares. The country had produced 23.4 million tonne of pulses during 2018-19 crop year (July-June), against annual domestic demand of about 27 MT.
Production of pulses was pegged at 25.4 million tonne in 2017-18 and the output dipped last year due to crop damage in Maharashtra and Karnataka.Between 2010 and 2015, pulses production was 16-19 MT and there was a huge demand for imports. Countries like Myanmar, Canada and Malawi had started growing pulses only for the purpose of selling to India. This crop year, the government targets 26.30 MT of pulses.