Excess and continuous rains have impacted the harvest of moong bean crop in the major producing regions of North Karnataka and parts of Maharashtra. As a result, the quality of the new pulses crop has taken a hit and market arrivals in the region are reporting higher moisture content in the produce.
As a result, buyers are staying away from purchasing the high-moisture moong beans, a trend that’s seen exerting pressure on the prices. Moong prices are ruling between ₹4,000 and ₹7,000 per quintal in various markets across the region , triggering a demand for the commencement of purchase under the minimum support price. The Centre has fixed an MSP of ₹7,196 a quintal for the kharif 2020 season.
Farmers in Karnataka, where moong is a major kharif pulses crop, have planted the bean on about 3.85 lakh hectares, about 50 per cent higher than the previous year. Similarly, in Maharashtra, the area under moong has gone up by 19 per cent to 3.84 lakh ha. In Rajasthan, the major moong producer, the area under the pulses crop is up by a tenth at 20.35 lakh ha. At all-India level, moong has been planted on about 34 lakh ha — up 14 per cent over previous kharif season.
Moong output in 2019-20 stood at 2.34 million tonnes, as per third advance estimates.
“The crop is good this year and the acreage is also up. However, the continuous rains over the past few days have impacted the standing crop. Farmers are facing difficulty in harvesting and drying the crop,” said Sujay Hubli, a processor of pulses in Gadag, a major growing area for moong in Karnataka.
New crop, poor quality
Santosh Langar, a pulses processor in Kalaburgi, said the crop in parts of Maharashtra has also been impacted by the excess rains. The new crop has started arriving in the markets of Gadag and nearby region. However, the buyers, mainly the processors, are staying away from the markets due to high moisture content of 17-25 per cent as it is difficult to store. “Buying is based on the daily to weekly requirement,” Hubli said.
As per the IMD data, cumulative rains in Gadag district for the season till date were excess by 66 per cent, while the neighbouring Koppal district has witnessed a 102 per cent increase in precipitation.
“As farmers are bringing their produce to the market the Government should open the procurement centres to purchase at MSP so that the small holders will benefit,” said Basavaraj Ingin, President of Karnataka Red Gram Growers Association.
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