NAFED and FCI Oilseeds, Pulses procurement at extreme slow pace

Food Corporation of India (FCI) and National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd (NAFED), which have a target to procure 33 lakh tonnes of oilseeds and pulses under the Pradhan Mantri Annadata Aay SanraksHan Abhiyan (PM-AASHA) in the 2018-19 marketing season ending March, have only been able to procure 3.75 lakh tonnes so far.

The government has estimated pulses output in this kharif season in the country at 92.2 lakh tonnes and that of oilseeds at 222 lakh tonnes.

Delay in arrivals and poor quality crops have slow down the procurement, the private players have started procuring urad and soybean, prices of which are now ruling closer to the MSP. Private traders are acquiring urad at Rs 5,400-5,500 a quintal while the MSP was Rs 5,600 per quintal. Soyabean is being sold in mandi at Rs 4,000 a quintal against MSP of Rs 3,399 a quintal.

According to government officials, Nafed and FCI have started procurement only in a few selected districts of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh. In Karnataka, FCI will soon start procurement of arhar/tur, they said. Of the total procurement, 70 per cent will be procured by Nafed and the rest by FCI, officials said.

FCI has so far procured only 6,000 tonnes of pulses and oilseed out of its total target of 2.9 lakh tonnes. In addition to this, FCI has procured 195 lakh tonnes of rice, similar to the previous year for 2018-19 kharif marketing season. It has set a target to procure 370 lakh tonnes of rice this year. The procurement is expected to continue till January 2019, officials said.

Meanwhile, in Madhya Pradesh 7.78 lakh soyabean farmers and 2.11 lakh maize farmer, who have sold produce in regulated markets and mandis under Bhavantar Bhugtan Yojna till December 5, will get bonus of Rs 500 into their bank accounts for the sale of the produce after January 19.

Shekhar Ghosh is consulting editor, Indoasiancommodities.com. He has edited and written for publications like Business India, Business Standard, Business Today, Outlook and many other international publications. He can be reached at shekhar.ghosh@indoasiancommodities.in.

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