Lockdown restrictions in several states and skeletal functioning of mandis have led to a lack of demand, resulting in stagnancy in the tur (arhar) prices in Maharashtra. Wholesale arhar prices are still on the higher side and are currently ruling at Rs 6,800 per quintal to Rs 7,000 per quintal in Latur, a key pulse producing region in Maharashtra.
Pulse prices are on the higher side due to a decline in production. Farmers are now giving a preference to oilseeds since soybean prices remained firm throughout the last season. This time farmers also shifted to sugarcane in Marathwada region in Maharashtra, because of the guaranteed prices. Cotton has been another lucrative crop for Maharashtra farmers this season. Pulse planting is likely to be on the lower side this Kharif season as well.
Agriculturalists expect an 8-10% drop in the acreage of pulses during the kharif season. Farmers had planted the pulse over 47 lakh hectares of area, with Maharashtra alone reporting over 12 lakh hectares of plantation. According to industry sources, the production could come down in the range of 32 lakh tonnes to 35 lakh tonnes.
As a result, arahar (tur) prices across the country have firmed up and crossed the minimum support price (MSP) levels of Rs 6,000 per quintal in the current crop year of June 2020-July 2021. The national agricultural cooperative marketing federation of India (Nafed) has not been able to procure tur (arhar) from Maharashtra due to the rally in prices.
Nafed had given five states a procurement target of 15 lakh tonne. Wholesale tur prices are currently hovering between Rs 6,100 per quintal to Rs 7,250 per quintal in key markets in Maharashtra and Karnataka.
Lower than expected yields and the decision of small and medium farmers to hold on to their produce have kept the tur prices up, which are ruling Rs 700-800 per quintal above the MSP, he said. Ex-dal mill prices of the lentil in Latur —the country’s biggest tur market — was Rs 6,900 to Rs 7,500 per quintal, with further correction of prices not being ruled out by traders.