Agri Business

Rain impacts ‘moong’ harvest

Vishwanath Kulkarni Bengaluru | Updated on August 22, 2019 Published on August 22, 2019

Lower output may push up prices

 

The heavy rains that battered parts of North Karnataka in recent weeks have hampered the harvesting of moong or green gram.

Moong, a minor pulses crop, is largely grown under rainfed conditions and the first among the kharif crops to be harvested in Karnataka. Market arrivals began in the northern part of the State over the past week.

 

Harvesting hampered

The intense precipitation and subsequent flooding in districts such as Gadag, Dharwad, Belgaum and Bagalkot have hampered the harvesting of the crop, causing hardship to farmers.

State agriculture department officials said the rains have hit the quality of the crop in some regions where the colour of the pulses seed has turned somewhat black from green. “The acreage itself was lower this year as the north Karnataka region received scanty rains during June. With the rains affecting the standing crop, the overall output could shrink,” sources said.

Lower acreage

Moong was planted on 2.55 lakh hectares in Karnatka, lower than last year’s 4.09 lakh ha. The lower acreage is mainly on account of delayed monsoon.

In an apparent indication of a lower crop, the modal prices are ruling higher by ₹600-1500 per quintal over last year’s levels in various markets such as Gadag and Bagalkot. However, the modal prices are still lower than the minimum support price of ₹7,050 announced by the Centre for the 2019-20 kharif season.

Govt procurement

As arrivals begin in various markets, farmers want the government to start making purchases.

“As of now, there is no word on procurement from the government. As farmers in the region don’t have the holding capacity, they tend to bring it to the markets once the crop is harvested. The government should make arrangement for procurement at the start of the harvesting period or else the traders will stand to gain,” said Chamaras Malipatil, President of the Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sene.

“The crop size looks lower because of lower area and rains affecting the harvest. Moreover, the quality of the crop arriving in the market is poor with high moisture content. We may have to look at alternate sources such as Maharashtra,” said Sujay Hubli, a pulses processor in Gadag.

In Maharashtra, the delayed monsoon has also impacted the acreage and may result in lower output. The acreage there is lower at around 3.2 lakh ha as against last year’s 3.9 lakh ha. Pan-India moong acreage stood lower at 29 lakh ha, down from previous year’s 32.3 lakh ha.

Besides delayed monsoon, the shift in preference of farmers towards other crops such as cotton and soyabean in several places have impacted the acreage, said Kirit Mantri, a processor in Akola.

Harvesting in Maharashtra

The crop looks good in Vidarbha, Mantri said. “The harvest is set to begin in Maharashtra on September 1 and we expect the arrivals to peak around September 10,” he said.

The trade in Maharashtra expects good quality moong prices to rule above ₹6,500 per quintal.

Moong output during 2018-19, according to fourth advanced estimates, stood at 2.35 million tonne, higher than the previous year's 2.02 million tonnes

Published on August 22, 2019
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