21 May , 2022 By : monika singh
The government’s procurement of chana (gram), which has a share of more than 50% in the country’s pulses output, has crossed 1.86 million tonne (MT) so far in the current rabi season (2022-23) compared to just 0.5 MT a year ago.
Sources told FE that procurement of chana, which is being carried out by National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (Nafed) under the minimum support price operations, is likely to cross 2 MT by next week as farmers are bringing in their produce in key producing states of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. The target for procurement is around 2.9 MT for the current session against only 0.6 MT of purchase in the previous year.
A bumper harvest and mandi prices ruling around Rs 4,700-5,000 a quintal across markets against the MSP of Rs 5,230 a quintal have led to an increase in the procurement by Nafed.
On account of a higher chana procurement, the government currently has close to 3.3 MT of pulses of various varieties as buffer stock against the norm of 2.3 MT.
However, in the case of other varieties of pulses, the government’s stocks are smaller — moong (0.31 MT), urad (0.03 MT), tur (0.11 MT) and masoor (0.07 MT) at present — because of lower procurement.
In 2016, the government had created buffer stock of pulses, so that retail prices could be moderated through releasing of stock in the open market in a calibrated manner. Nafed procures pulses on behalf of the department of consumer affairs and department of agriculture and farmers’ welfare under a price stabilisation fund and price support scheme.
Farmers’ cooperative so far has purchased chana in Madhya Pradesh (0.54 MT), Maharashtra (0.54 MT), Gujarat (0.5 MT), Karnataka (0.07 MT), Telangana (0.05 MT) and Andhra Pradesh (0.6 MT) from farmers since the beginning of the month.
According to the third advance estimates of foodgrain production released on Thursday, pulses production of the current crop year is estimated at a record 27.75 MT, which is around 9% higher from the previous year. The production of chana (gram) grew by more than 17% in the current crop year to 13.98 MT from 11.91 MT reported in the previous year.
“In the coming months, we expect arrivals to decrease in mandis and at the same time demand from millers can be seen and this might bring mandi prices near to MSP,” Harsha Rai, head, Mayur Global Corporation, a leading commodity firm, said.
Gram has 0.6% weightage in food inflation. Inflation in chana was 2.72% in April. A major part of the total production of desi chana goes into further processing for producing gram flour (besan).