Tur farmers get more price in open market than NAFED’s MSP as the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd (NAFED) has not acquired tur dal (Pigeon pea) or soya bean in Latur, one of the largest tur dal markets in Maharashtra.
Although tendering for tur dal and soya has begun, farmers who used to queue up in the procurement centers are selling their products to traders in the open market, where they are getting as much as higher price than the Minimum Sales Price (MSP).
‘The MSP for tur dal is ₹ 6,000 and soya (yellow) ₹ 3,800 per quintal. But in the open market, farmers get between ₹ 6,900 and ₹ 7,500 per quintal for tur dall and ₹ 4,700 per quintal for soya. The market inflow of tur dal is lower this year and therefore the rates are rising,” NAFED said.
Hari Mokashe, a local in Latur, stated that unseasonal rains had affected tur dal cultivation and farmers were not willing to sell to NAFED. “The actual cost of cultivation is much higher than that of the MSP and therefore farmers are selling their produce on the open market if they do get a good price. However, MSP should keep going as a fall-back alternative,” he stated.
Sominath Gholwe, a farmer and agricultural researcher, says that “It is quite possible that market rates are artificially inflated. In many places, traders do not offer market rates and purchases produce just above the MSP price. Nowadays, the rates of tur dal and soya are high because output is lower.
This may not be the case when there is ample production available on the market and therefore MSP is essential.” He said that farmers are vulnerable and could be exploited in any of the existing market platforms.
Farmers are opposed to the import of dal
Tur dal farmers opposed the demand of the All India Dal Mill Association to import tur dal at fix prices. The Association has approached the government seeking imports to stabilize prices. As per the Association, while the crop is 20 % lower this year, demand from large buyers has pushed up prices.
‘The government must decide on the import policy, whether it is tur dal or any other produce. On the one hand, the government is keen to implement new farm legislation that says that farmers should stay competitive in the open market. On the other hand, if the rates go up, it imports agro commodities. Government has a popular feeling when it comes to high prices for tur dal or onion.
Government has a popular feeling when it comes to high prices for tur dal or onion. When farmers suffer greatly from low production and low prices, nobody comes to save us,” says Bharat Dighole, President of the Maharashtra State Onion Growers’ Association.
In the meantime, the price of tur dal reached ₹ 6,950 per quintal in Maharashtra’s Jintur market on Monday. In other markets, the price was over ₹ 6,000 per quintal.