Pulse import hits dal millers, dampens bumper crop high

A labourer dries tur in Kalaburagi. DH Photo/Prashanth H G

Despite getting a bumper tur crop, dal millers are in no mood celebrate the occasion as they are in dire straits due to import of pulses by the Union government.

After four years of dry spell, the district has received normal rain this year resulting in bumper tur yield for Kharif season. Tur is grown on 5,21,965 hectares of land in the district. Out of about 400 dal mills, 340 mills were shut down after the crisis began.

Gulbarga Dal Millers’ Association president Shivasharanappa Niggudgi said the dal millers will recover only when the government purchases raw tur in the open market. “We are facing problems since 2016-17 after the government started purchasing the produce directly from the growers. By introducing Price Deficiency Payment Scheme (PDPS), the government should pay difference amount directly to peasants,” he urged.  

Karnataka Rajya Pranta Raita Sangha vice president Maruthi Manpade said pulse import should be stopped by the government to fix scientific price to the tur produce and to revive debt-stricken dal mills. The millers should also upgrade their mills to advanced technology to minimise waste during crushing, he advised.     

Agriculture Department joint director Rathendranath Sugur said tur should not succumb to moisturize stress three to four weeks before flowering. Under stress, flowers fall resulting in low yield. “As the district received incessant rainfall this year after sowing activities, we have expected good yield and four quintals tur yield per acre can be classified as bumper crop,” he explained.

The use of TS3R, a new variety seed, is another reason for the good crop yield. It is resistant to pod borer pest too. The department has expected 40-42 lakh quintals of yield this year, Sugur said.

“Dal millers will neither benefit from the bumper crop nor will suffer loss. The government should give some packages, like interest holiday, for dal millers to bail them out,” Basavaraj Ingin, a farmer leader, said.

Meanwhile, the Dal Millers’ Association has submitted a memorandum to APMC principal secretary seeking exemption from APMC cess for dal mills. The cess exemption is applicable only for new dall mills for a period of ten years since the establishment. Now, cess exemption has been requested for old dal mills which are in deep crisis. “We are optimistic that the government will consider our request and come to the rescue of debt-stricken mills,” Niggudgi told.

 

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