In what could be a big setback for the interests of Indian farmers, the government has given green signal for the import of pulses, reported Business Standard.
As per the report, the 1.5 million quintals of tur will be imported under memorandum of understanding (MoU) between India and Mozambique at a time, when farmers have a four times the amount in their stocks.
According to the report, the entire problem originated in 2016-17, when pulse prices sky rocketed due to crop failure.
While the farmers soon increased pulses production, the centre signed a three year MoU with Mozambique to import 3.75 million quintal of pulses, the report said.
This now has led to a crisis. According to a report, government imports comes at a time when the farmers are sitting on a stock of nearly 6 million quintal with them.
Desi variety of tur is selling at Rs 38-42 per kg in various mandis, way lower than the Minimum Support Price (MSP) of Rs 54 per kg.
On the other hand, the cost of importing pulses from Mozambique is around Rs 28-30 per kg, which makes it quite viable, the report said.
“Releasing import quota for import from Mozambique at this time will only hurt farmers’ interest going by the market scenario of the pulses,” Devendra Vora of Navi Mumbai-based Friendship Traders was quoted saying in the report.
The situation, the report said, is made more complicated due to the fact that all this is happening before the sowing of kharif.
“We have written to the government to not open import quota now, but do so when prices have increased, which is expected during festival times. Allowing import during that period will have price stabilizing impact, instead of the price-depressing impact, which is the case now,” Bimal Kothari, Vice president of the Indian Pulses and Grains Association was quoted saying in the report.