With chana prices ruling below the government declared minimum support price (MSP) in several mandis across the country, government procurement is likely to begin in the next couple of weeks in Karnataka, Rajasthan and Maharashtra.
The government of Maharashtra has sent a proposal to the Centre seeking permission for the procurement of chana in the state. Accordingly, online farmer registrations have also begun a couple of days ago, senior government officials said. In Karnataka, permission has been sought for procurement in 10 districts of the state while Madhya Pradesh has declared that the government will begin to procure chana from farmers from March 5, traders said.
The Centre has increased the MSP for chana by 2.5% for the 2022-23 marketing season at Rs 5,230 a quintal against Rs 5,100 a quintal in the previous year. However, the current prices are trading around Rs 4,800-5,000 per quintal in various mandis. Traders have attributed the need for procurement under MSP due to a rise in chana output.
As per the second advance estimates released by the ministry of agriculture, chana output in 2021-22 is likely to touch 13.12 million tonne as against 11.92 MT in 2020-21.
Chana acreage, according to ministry of agriculture data, has increased from 1.69 lakh hectares (lh) in 2016-17 to 10.94 lh in 2021-22, a whopping 547% increase, almost six times in the past six years.
Moreover, this year, besides Maharashtra, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh, other states such as Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Uttar Pradesh have also seen a rise in acreage. This rabi season, Maharashtra overtook Madhya Pradesh as the largest state to cultivate chana. The area under the pulses crop increased by 9.2% in Maharashtra to 25.24 lh, while Madhya Pradesh had 24.94 lh under chana. Similarly, Gujarat saw a 36% increase in the area under chana at 10.94 lh from 8.03 lh the previous season.