Rabi crops Govt procures pulses, oilseeds worth Rs 2,682 crore from farmers

The government on Tuesday said it has so far purchased around 2.61 lakh tonnes of pulses and 3.17 lakh tonnes of oilseeds from farmers worth Rs 2,682 crore during the ongoing marketing season of rabi (winter) crops under the Price Support Scheme (PSS). The PSS is operationalised on state governments’ request when prices fall below the minimum support price (MSP).

The procurement is undertaken by nodal agencies like Nafed at minimum support price (MSP). Only fair average quality commodity is purchased

However, in view of COVID-19 pandemic, the daily procurement limit has been increased from 25 quintals to 40 quintals per day under PSS for rabi crops.

In a statement, the Union Agriculture Ministry said oilseeds and pulses have been purchased at MSP value of Rs 2,682 crores, benefitting 3,25,565 farmers.

Of the total procurement so far, about 14,859 tonnes of pulses and 6,706 tonnes of oilseeds were purchased on May 1-2 in six states namely Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana, it said.

As per the second estimate of the ministry, pulses and oilseeds output during the 2019 rabi season have been pegged at 15.11 million tonnes and 10.75 million tonnes, respectively.

According to the ministry, the state-run agencies have procured 181.36 lakh tonnes of wheat, the main rabi crop, so far.

Amid the COVID-19 crisis, farmers are undertaking sowing of kharif (summer) crops where rabi crops have been harvested.

Paddy, the main kharif crop, has been sown in 34.80 lakh hectares so far, higher than 25.26 lakh hectares in the year-ago period, it said.

For pulses also, area sown has increased to 8.77 lakh hectares from 5.44 lakh hectares, while that for coarse cereals rose to 9.12 lakh hectares from 5.49 lakh hectares in the said period.

Area under oilseeds has increased to 8.87 lakh hectares so far in the ongoing kharif season from 7 lakh hectares a year ago.

Sowing of kharif crops normally picks up with the onset of southwest monsoon from June.

The India Meteorological Department has forecast a normal monsoon this year, which will help 52 per cent of the rainfed area in the country.

The Ministry also said that the government is taking several measures to facilitate farmers and farming activities at field level during the lockdown period in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic.

Under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) Scheme, the government has disbursed Rs 18,134 crore during the lockdown period, benefitting 9.06 crore farmers, it added.