New Delhi, Sep 21 The central government has directed procurement agencies Food Corporation of India (FCI), NAFED and SFAC to publicise their procurement activities among farmers through various modes in pulse producing states so that farmers get the benefit of Minimum Support Price (MSP).
The central government is procuring pulses form farmers as it wants to encourage them to grow lentils in the ensuing winter/rabi season beginning October, an official source said.
On September 15, addressing a two-day conference, Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh had urged states to promote pulses even in the winter or Rabi season beginning next.
Singh had also said unless farmers get the MSP they will not be encouraged to plant pulses in the Rabi season.
An official source said here on Wednesday that the government agencies have procured 3273.16 million tonnes of Moong dal benefiting as many as 330 farmer. The state-run agencies -- FCI, NAFED and SFAC -- have set up about 200 centres to procure Moong directly from farmers at MSP.
The government had earlier fixed Rs 4,800 per quintal as MSP rate and bonus Rs 425 during Kharif 2016-17 season. The procurement of Moong started in the second week of September in Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
The government started procuring pulses at the MSP plus bonus rate after prices fell. The procured pulses are kept as buffer stock, which the government aimed at expanding to around two million tonne this year.
The country's pulse output is targeting bumper 20-21 million tonne in 2016 after a good monsoon following two straight years of drought.
The sources said the drought in 2014 and 2015 had brought down the pulse production to 16.47 million tonne in 2015-16 and 17.15 million tonne in 2014-15.
The country recorded a 19.25 million tonne of production in 2013-14.