The prime minister’s pet scheme to ensure higher income for farmers through robust procurement in coordination with states is moving at a snail’s pace, with just about 11% of the target achieved in the first two months, officials said.
Food Corporation of India (FCI) and National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd (Nafed), which have a target to procure 33 lakh tonne of oilseeds and pulses under the Pradhan Mantri Annadata Aay SanraksHan Abhiyan (PM-Aasha) in the 2018-19 marketing season ending March, have only been able to procure 3.75 lakh tonne so far.
“The arrivals are delayed and quality of the crop is not good, hence the procurement is slow,” said Sanjeev Kumar Chadha, managing director at Nafed. “Also, the private players have started procuring urad and soyabean, (prices of) which are now ruling closer to the MSP. In a fortnight we will start procuring tur from the southern states,” he told ET.
Chadha said private players are acquiring urad at Rs 5,400-5,500 a quintal while the MSP was Rs 5,600 per quintal. Soyabean is being sold in mandi at Rs 4,000 a quintal against MSP of Rs 3,399 a quintal, he said. “The market is correcting,” he said.
According to government officials, Nafed and FCI have started procurement only in a few selected districts of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh. In Karnataka, FCI will soon start procurement of arhar/tur, they said. Of the total procurement, 70% will be procured by Nafed and the rest by FCI, officials said.
An official from FCI told ET that the corporation has so far procured only 6,000 tonnes of pulses and oilseed out of its total target of 2.9 lakh tonnes. “The procurement will pick pace by next week in Karnataka with tur/arhar arrivals,” the person said.
Apart from this, FCI has procured 195 lakh tonne of rice, similar to the previous year for 2018-19 kharif marketing season. It has set a target to procure 370 lakh tonne rice this year. The procurement is expected to continue till January 2019, officials said.
The government has estimated pulses output in this kharif season in the country at 92.2 lakh tonne and that of oilseeds at 222 lakh tonne.
Meanwhile, in Madhya Pradesh 7.78 lakh soyabean farmers and 2.11 lakh maize farmers, who have sold produce in regulated markets and mandis under Bhavantar Bhugtan Yojna till December 5, will get bonus of Rs 500 into his bank account for the sale of his produce after January 19.