MUMBAI : For gram farmers in Maharashtra, the realisation of a Minimum Support Price (MSP) for their produce remains a distant dream as the state government is drawing a low figure in the ongoing procurement of the pulse. Maharashtra has recorded the lowest procurement of chana in the country, under the central government’s Price Support Scheme (PSS).
Chana is an important rabi crop in both Vidarbha and Marathwada. This marks the second year in which chana growers have failed to sell their produce at the government-announced Minimum Selling Price (MSP) of Rs 4,620 per quintal. In most markets in the state, gram is being traded at around Rs 4,300 to Rs 4,400 per quintal. Incidentally, all 17 seats in both regions will complete their voting on Thursday.
In view of the lower-than-MSP prices, the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation (NAFED) had announced the procurement of 2.5 lakh tonnes of the commodity in the state. Three agencies — the Vidarbha Cooperative Marketing Federation, the Maharashtra Cooperative Marketing Federation (MarkFed) and the MahaFPC — have joined in to ensure procurement at the ground level.
Data released by NAFED shows that till April 15, the state has seen the procurement of 1,671.15 tonne of gram from 1,560 farmers. MahaFPC, the umbrella organisation of Farmers Producers Companies (FPC), has so far reported the lowest procurement with 21 farmers selling 26.25 tonne in the three centres they run.