As against the MSP
of Rs 5,400 a quintal for 2017-18 kharif season, average urad
price stood at Rs 4,720 a quintal for May 2017, which steadily declined further to stabilise at Rs 3018.5 a quintal towards the beginning of the current sowing season in May 2018. Similarly, arhar
also traded substantially below the MSP
throughout 2017-18 season.
By contrast, however, soybean and cotton
prices traded substantially higher than their respective MSPs, barring a couple of occasions when they slipped marginally below the government’s threshold price. Encouraged by the government’s timely interventions, spot prices of cotton
and soybean along with other oilseeds
“Sowing area and production of pulses
are set to contract this kharif season
due to lower realisation yielded by farmers last year. By contrast, however, sowing area and production of oilseeds
may rise this year,” said Sanjay Kaul, managing director, National Collateral Management Services (NCML).
Based on lower acreage so far this season, NCML
forecasts India’s pulses
production to decline by 7.7 per cent at 8.32 million tonnes (mt) this kharif season, second slump in a row, compared to 9.01 mt produced last year as per the third Advanced Estimates for 2017-18 from the Union Ministry of Agriculture.
In a first-of-its-kind of kharif crop production forecast, NCML
output to rise by 9 per cent and 7.6 per cent to 22.57 mt and 37.5 million bales (1 bale = 170 kg) this year, from 20.68 mt and 34.86 million bales last year, respectively.
hike is insufficient to encourage farmers to bring in sowing under pulses.
Compared to pulses, paddy, jowar, cotton, and oilseeds
offer better prospects. But, pulses
procurement by government agencies might encourage farmers to bring in some area next sowing season,” said D K Joshi, chief economist, CRISIL.
The data compiled by the Union Ministry of Agriculture showed a sharp decline in sowing area under all primary kharif crops, including pulses, cotton, and oilseeds
due to erratic rainfall this monsoon season. Despite a normal long period average (LPA) forecast, the monsoon rainfall took a break of nearly 10 days after initial showers early this season. Feared with crop damage, the government of Maharashtra advised farmers in the state to wait for actual rainfall before commencement of sowing this kharif season.
Normally, farmers switch to pulses
during deficient rainfall, which is highly unlikely this season.
Reacting to the MSP
hike, chana prices moved up by 1 per cent across all contracts and soybean prices declined by up to 1.72 per cent towards the end of day trading on Wednesday.
Trade sources, however, believe that the Centre and the state need to come together to devise a formula for sharing incentives for farmers.