Despite high demand of maize, mandi prices rule below minimum support price

Even as demand for maize in states like Maharashtra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu is robust amid poultry feed prices shooting up on record increase in soyabean rates, farmers in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab continue to sell maize below minimum support price of Rs 1,850 per quintal.

However, this has not deterred farmers from sowing maize in the ongoing kharif season and area coverage under the coarse cereal has seen a surge in many states.

The average mandi price for maize in July was Rs 1,571 per quintal and arrival was 1.66 lakh tonnes in Uttar Pradesh and in Punjab rate was Rs 1,345 per quintal and arrival was 18,019 tonnes, according to Agmarknet portal. On the other hand, per quintal average mandi rates were Rs 1,830 a quintal, Rs 1,860 per quintal, and Rs 1,880 per quintal in Maharashtra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, respectively, where arrivals were very low.

Though these three states are also major producers, the demand is quite high as many of the poultry units are located there.

The total area under the crop crossed the season’s normal 74.68 lakh hectare, as of August 6 and was also up by 3 per cent from year-ago, according to agriculture ministry data. The acreage in Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Gujarat was higher by 3-16 per cent from their respective year ago level. In Telangana, the area coverage so far was more than three times of previous year.

But in Maharashtra, the acreage was lagging behind this year, largely due to a shift to soyabean crop. According to official data, the crop area under maize was 3 per cent lower at 8.1 lakh hectare while that of soyabean was about 6 per cent higher at nearly 44.5 lakh hectare. In Rajasthan, the third biggest producer of kharif maize, the sowing deficit narrowed down to 10 per cent as of August 6 from 17 per cent as of July 30 as it is a good alternative in low rainfall areas.

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