The government’s procurement of chana (gram), which has a share of more than 48% in the country’s pulses production, has crossed 10 lakh tonnes in the current rabi season (2022-23) so far, compared to just 3 lakh tonnes in the same period last year. By the end of May 2022, government is likely to procure 20 lakh tonnes of chana.
This is on account of the bumper harvest which has pulled down mandi prices below the minimum support price (MSP). This would also give a boost to the government’s buffer stock which is used for curbing any possibility of a future spike in the prices of pulses.
State-owned farmers’ cooperatives so far have purchased 1.01 million tonnes (MT) of chana in Gujarat (0.37 MT), Maharashtra (0.34 MT), Karnataka (0.06 MT) and Telangana (0.05 MT) of chana from farmers since the beginning of the month. In Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, key producers of pulses variety, procurement of chana has just commenced.
Rajasthan is expected to procure around 0.3 MT of chana in the current session from the farmers. In Madhya Pradesh, around 0.4 to 0.5 MT of chana is expected to be procured in the next one month or so. “At this pace of procurement, we will be purchasing close to 2 MT of Chana this session,” a government official said.
At present, the benchmark mandi prices of chana at Alwar (Rajasthan), Latur (Maharashtra), Sehore (Madhya Pradesh) and Hyderabad (Telangana) are currently ruling in the range of Rs 4,600 – Rs 4,900 a quintal against the MSP of Rs 5,230 a quintal.
Current procurement of chana has bolstered the government’s buffer stock to 2.5 MT at present against the buffer norm of 2.1 MT. However, in the case of other varieties of pulses because of lower procurement, the government’s stocks are smaller – moong (0.32 MT), urad (0.03 MT), tur (0.12 MT) and masoor (0.07 MT) at present. According to the second advance estimates for the 2021-22 season, chana output in the 2021-22 crop year (July-June) is likely to touch 13.12 MT as against 11.91 MT reported in 2020-21.