Karnataka urges Centre to buy more tur dal from it

Karnataka on Thursday urged the Centre to procure more tur dal from it and extend the procurement deadline by another month.

Karnataka’s Minister for Agriculture Krishna Byre Gowda met Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Ram Vilas Paswan here and requested that central procurement agencies purchase more tur dal from the state to help farmers.

The Union government is buying pulses through the Food Corporation of India (FCI), the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (Nafed) and the Small Farmers’ Agribusiness Consortium (SFAC) at the minimum support price (MSP) for its buffer stock to protect farmers from price fall.

The Centre has kept a procurement ceiling of 2.4 lakh tonnes for tur dal from Karnataka. It recently extended the procurement deadline to April 15. As of April 4, central nodal agencies have procured a total of 2.27 lakh tonnes of tur dal from the state. “We had a bumper tur crop this year. So, we have requested the minister to further extend the procurement deadline by a month or at least 15 days,” Byre Gowda told journalists after the meeting.

He said the procurement deadline was required to be extended as tur prices had fallen below the MSP of Rs 5,050 per quintal in Karnataka. Moreover, farmers are still holding 2.6 lakh tonnes of kharif tur dal, he added.

In the kharif season of 2016-17, Karnataka has harvested a record 7.13 lakh tonnes of tur dal. There are 158 procurement centres in the state.

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