Hyderabad: Farmers in the Telugu states have demanded that the state governments and the Centre stabilise prices and ensure procurement at minimum support price (MSP) for all 24 commodities. The latest decision of the Centre to allow import of pulses will further affect the domestic market, farmers and millers said.
“Our stocks have been lying idle,” said Mr K. Narayana Rao, a farmer from Nizamabad district. “We suffered from low production two years ago. Now, we are unable to benefit from the demand surge due to the glut in the market,” said Mr Rao. Mr Bojja Dasaratha Rami Reddy, secretary-general, Consortium of Indian Farmers’ Associations (Cifa) said the glut in pulses market was dampening demand. “We know that 100 per cent procurement at MSP may not be possible, but remunerative prices should be ensured for the farmers,” he said.
Cifa suggests that procuring all 24 commodoties at MSP will ensure price stabilisation of pulses. “The governments are procuring mostly rice, wheat and sugarcane, while ignoring other 21 commodities. We demand MSP for these 21 commodities so that farmers can switch over to them,” he said.
The Centre has announced quotas for pulses import as part of its long-term agreements with other countries including Mozambique. The import quotas must be completed by August. This decision comes at a time when domestic stocks are at their highest and domestic production is expected to be high and prices are crashing.
“There was a 38.6 per cent increase in the area under pulses during 2016-17, which led to pulses production improving by 37 per cent to 22.4 million tonnes. Allowing import of 6.6 million tonnes of pulses without taking into account the advance estimates has resulted in pulses farmers across the nation being forced to indulge in distress sales. This is likely to result in shrinking of area under which pulses are grown during the next year leading to yet another cycle of increase of pulses prices,” Mr Rami Reddy said....