New Delhi, Apr 6 (PTI) Karnataka Agriculture Minister Byre Gowda today met Union Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan and requested the Centre to procure more tur dal from the state besides extending the procurement deadline by a month.
To cushion farmers from price fall, the central government is buying pulses through FCI, Nafed and SFAC at the minimum support price (MSP) for its buffer stock.
The Centre has kept a procurement ceiling of 2.4 lakh tonnes for tur dal from Karnataka. It recently extended the procurement deadline by a month till April 15.
“We have bumper tur crop in the state. So, we have requested the Food Minister to further extend the procurement deadline by a month, in the worst case by at least 15 days,” Gowda told reporters after the meeting.
The procurement deadline needs to be extended as tur prices are ruling below the MSP of Rs 5,050 per quintal in the state. Moreover, farmers are still holding 2.6 lakh tonnes of kharif tur dal, he said.
“In a few days, the procurement limit will be exhausted as well as the deadline. We have requested the central government to buy additional 2.6 lakh tonnes from the state to protect farmers,” Gowda added.
The Karnataka Minister said that the state government is offering a bonus of Rs 450 per quintal over and above the MSP.
As on April 4, a total of 2.27 lakh tonnes of tur dal has been procured by the central nodal agencies in the state. Out of which, maximum of 1.61 lakh tonnes was bought by cooperative Nafed.
State-run Food Corporation of India (FCI) has purchased 46,000 tonnes and Small Farmers’ Agriculture-Business Consortium (SFAC) has procured 20,000 tonnes of tur dal.
Karnataka has harvested a record 7.13 lakh tonnes of tur dal in the kharif seaon of 2016-17 crop year. There are 158 procurement centres in the state.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.