Agri Business

Moong drops below MSP even as arrivals begin in N Karnataka

Vishwanath Kulkarni Bengaluru | Updated on August 13, 2018

Farmers want Govt to begin purchasing immediately

As the new kharif moong (green gram) hits the markets in North Karnataka, prices of the pulses crop are trading lower at around ₹5,100 a quintal, much lower than the minimum support price of ₹6,975 announced by the Centre.

In fact, the prevailing prices in the State are also lower than last year’s support price of ₹5,575/quintal, growers said, while demanding that the government spell out the procurement strategy for the season and begin purchasing from the markets.

The CACP (Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices) has estimated the cost of production of moong at ₹4,650 per quintal and the Centre has declared a 50 per cent increase over this as MSP for the current year.

Prices dip

In Karnataka, moong is largely grown in the dry belts of northern parts of the State, and Gadag is a major market for the pulses crop. Prices in Gadag, where the arrivals began in last week of July, have come down steadily over the past fortnight. On July 25, the modal price in Gadag stood at ₹5,982 a quintal, which has now reduced to around ₹5,100 levels.

“Average prices are hovering between ₹4,500 and ₹5,000 levels in various markets. The government should intervene immediately to stabilise the prices,” said Chamras Malipatil, Honorary President of the Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha and Hasiru Sene. “We are planning to stage a protest demanding a legal sanctity for the MSP in early September,” he added.


Crop prospects

Farmers, this year, have brought in more area under moong in Karnataka, one of the largest producers of the pulses crop. The widespread pre-monsoon showers in the region during May had aided the sowing in the region. Moong, one of the key pulses, has a short crop cycle and is ready to harvest within 60-65 days after planting.

“The crop is looking better this year on higher yields, boosted by good rains in early June,” said Sujay Hubli, a processor of pulses based in Gadag. The trade is buying the new crop on a need basis and there’s some demand coming in from buyers in neighbouring Maharashtra, he added.

However, the latest spell of rains over the past couple of days in Northern Karnataka is seen impeding the harvest. Trade sources said if the current spell of rains prolongs for more than a week then it may hurt the standing crop.


Output, stocks

Prakash Kammaradi, Chairman, Karnataka Agricultural Prices Commission, said the government agencies are assessing the current market situation. Besides green gram, prices of other crops such as black gram, maize and jowar are likely to be under a bearish trend, he said.

India’s moong production in 2017-18 stood at 19 lakh tonnes (lt), lower than the previous year’s 21.7 lt. Production during kharif 2017 season stood at 13.9 lt, of which about 2.93 lt was procured by Nafed under the price support scheme. Bulk of the procurement — about 2.6 lt took place in Rajasthan during kharif last year, while in Karnataka it was 21,758 tonnes. Most of the green gram stocks, procured by government agencies from Karnataka and Maharashtra last year, have already been liquidated, while there are huge stocks in Rajasthan estimated at around 2.09 lt.

Published on August 13, 2018

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