National Cooperative Consumers Federation
Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said the government is trying to dispose of the dals and asked entities, including cooperative NCCF, to do the needful.
He also said the government will procure pulses in the current year as well if the rates fall below the minimum support price (MSP) level.
For the first time, the government had last year decided to create a buffer stock of pulses to ensure better prices to farmers and at the same time use the stock to augment local supply in times of price rise. About 20 lakh tonnes of buffer were created through local procurement and imports.
"We have stock of 18 lakh tonnes of pulses. We are trying to disposing it of at the earliest as dals have short shelf- life. We have appealed many organisations like the NCCF," Paswan told reporters after the 49th AGM of the National Cooperative Consumers Federation (NCCF).
Although some quantity has been sold to traders through auction, the sale has not picked up. The food ministry is trying other means to clear the stock. It is in talks with welfare organisations and cooperatives to sell the stock, according to official sources.
The buffer stock of pulses and the fall in MSP have discouraged farmers as they have grown pulses in less area during the ongoing kharif season of the 2017-18 crop year.
However, to ensure better prices for farmers, the government has recently lifted ban on export of tur, urad and and moong dals. The country had procured a record 22.95 million tonnes of pulses in 2016-17 crop year due to good monsoon.
By BOA Bureau