Agri Business

As toor acreages rise, Nafed begins to offload stocks

Vishwanath Kulkarni Bengaluru | Updated on August 27, 2019 Published on August 27, 2019

 

As acreages under toor/arhar exceeded last year’s levels after widespread rains in early August boosted the sowing, the government has begun to dispose of stocks.

NAFED, the nodal procurement agency for pulses, has started offloading toor stocks in States such as Karnataka, Maharashtra and Gujarat.

Tenders floated

The move is expected to help ease prices of toor dal ahead of the forthcoming festival season while clearing the storage space for the new crop that will be harvested from December, trade sources said. Late last week, Nafed floated tenders for disposing of around 40,259 tonnes of toor from the kharif 2017 crop lying in various godowns across Karnataka, Maharashtra and Gujarat.

During the 2018-19 cropping season, NAFED procured about 2.75 lakh tonnes of toor. Bulk of the procurement was done in Karnataka and Maharashtra, the large producers of the pulses variety. According to the 4th Advance Estimates for 2018-19, production of toor had declined to 3.59 million tonnes from 4.29 mt in the previous year. This is mainly on account of drought in parts of Karnataka and Maharashtra.

Toor prices had firmed up in the recent months on expectations of a lower crop in 2018-19 and also due to sluggish sowing trend in the early kharif period due to patchy rains. But, with monsoon delivering a surplus in August across all key producing regions, the acreages have picked up as sowing of the pulses crop has gained pace.

Higher acreage

Sowing of toor is almost complete and latest data reveals that acreages have exceeded last year’s levels. Toor acreages as on August 23 stood marginally higher at 43.429 lakh hectares as against 43.261 lakh hectares last year. The growth has mainly come about in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Uttar Pradesh (see table). In Maharashtra, it has gone down marginally as a section of pulses growers have shifted to other crops.

 

Basavaraj Ingin, President of the Karnataka Pradesh Red Gram Growers Association, said rainfall in September and October is crucial for a good harvest. The Centre has declared a minimum support price of ₹5,800 per quintal for 2019-20, an increase of 2.2 per cent over the previous year.

Trade sources said that the government’s move to start disposing of toor stocks was timely this year and would help keep prices under check. Toor prices, which were in a bearish phase for almost close to three years, had turned bullish in recent months, mainly from April onwards.

Published on August 27, 2019
  1. Comments will be moderated by The Hindu Business Line editorial team.
  2. Comments that are abusive, personal, incendiary or irrelevant cannot be published.
  3. Please write complete sentences. Do not type comments in all capital letters, or in all lower case letters, or using abbreviated text. (example: u cannot substitute for you, d is not 'the', n is not 'and').
  4. We may remove hyperlinks within comments.
  5. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name, to avoid rejection.