Back-to-back droughts hit tur dal production in Karnataka

Last Updated : 23 April 2016, 20:03 IST
Last Updated : 23 April 2016, 20:03 IST

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Two consecutive hydrological droughts have led to a steep shortfall in the production of tur dal (pulse) in Karnataka and the prices have hit the roof.

A kilogram of fine variety of tur dal costs not less than Rs 160 to Rs 170 in Bengaluru city, while millers in Kalaburagi are selling it at about Rs 12,000 to 14,000 a quintal.

Krishimartha Vahini, the government website which gives daily updates on arrivals and prices of agriculture produces in wholesale market in the state, on Saturday quoted the price of tur dal per quintal in the range of Rs 10,750 to Rs 16,000.

The price of a quintal of urad dal has been quoted in the range of Rs 7,500 to Rs 20,000. This also means more than tur dal, urad dal has become costlier. But tur dal production and consumption is higher than other pulses as it is rich in protein.

Kalaburagi,  billed as the tur bowl of India, this year too, like last year, is facing a severe drought.

The Kalaburgi division comprising seven districts used to produce nearly seven to nine lakh tonnes of tur in a normal year. But in 2015, the production came down by 45%, according to Minister of State for Agriculture Krishna Byre Gowda. And, this year it would be much less as not even one lakh hectares is covered under the cultivation.

Kalaburgi Dal Mill Association former president Shivasharanappa C Nigudgi said, “We used to produce not less than seven lakh tonnes of tur. But this year, we have not been able to produce more than one lakh tonnes.

“The situation is no better in Maharashtra. The paucity of rains over the last year has forced farmers to shun cultivation of pulses. Last year, the production of tur did not cross three lakh tonnes, and this year, it would not be even half of this.”

250 lakh tonnes needed

India needs 250 lakh tonnes of tur, while the production is about 150 lakh tonnes. The demand is met by importing 83 to 100 lakh tonnes from African countries.

Nigudgi said with the shortfall being about 90% in Karnataka, the prices would not only go up, but there will also be severe shortage unless India imports tur in large quantities.

Agriculture department director B Y Srinivas said the production of pulses had taken a hit owing to the prevailing drought conditions. Though the targeted area for 2015-16 was 27.01 lakh hectares, the crop area was increased to 30.38 lakh hectares owing to crop loss during the rabi season.

Though the targeted production was 16 lakh tonnes in 2015-16, Karnataka could produce only 12.50 lakh tonnes of pulses. The department has maintained the same targets for 2016-17 also.

This year has been declared the International Pulses Year. The thrust would be on the production of pulses. The target could be met, provided there are good rains, he added.

Published 23 April 2016, 20:03 IST

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