Farmers take a liking to pulses this Kharif season
The area under pulses rose to 26.9% from the past week and 39.39% over the previous year in the same period to 90.17 lakh hectares till July 22.
The area under pulses rose to 26.9% from the past week and 39.39% over the previous year in the same period to 90.17 lakh hectares till July 22. The industry expects a substantial increase in planting.
Vikas Rai, a farmer from village Nihalkhera, in Fazilka district of Punjab, has planted arhar for the first time on 30 acres of his 150-acre land where he usually grows cotton. “Planting arhar is a good option as it does not require lot of water. It takes five months to be harvested, similar to cotton and prices much more remunerative,” he said. The minimum support price (MSP) fixed by the Centre for tur/arhar is Rs 5,050 per quintal, an increase of 9.2% over that of last year, while for moong it has been increased 7.7% at Rs 5,225 (including Rs 425 of bonus) and urad at Rs 5,000 a quintal, an increase of 8.1%.
Cotton MSP saw an increase of 1.9% at Rs 3,860 per quintal for medium staple and Rs 4,160 per quintal for long staple varieties. Currently, prices are ruling above the MSP.
Currently, prices were ruling above the MSP. In the Mumbai wholesale market, arhar was being quoted at Rs 83-84 a kg, urad at Rs 97-105 a kg and moong at Rs 53-58 a kg.
Ajay Vir Jakhar, chairman at New Delhi-based farmers’ association Bharat Krishak Samaj says that farmers have responded to market signals. “Last year farmers got fewer prices from guar and cotton and hence have replaced them with arhar and moong across the Abohar and Bhatinda district of Punjab. Good price is the best way to aid diversification (of crops),” he says.
“Pulses acreage may further increase and be 50% more than the previous year. Large tracts of land under cotton and soyabean is coming under pulses- largely under arhar and urad whose prices are above the MSP,” said Pravin Dongre, chairman of Indian Pulses and Grain Association (IPGA).
Farmers in Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra, who were going for replanting after the recent floods, were opting for urad and arhar, Dongre added.
Meanwhile in Gujarat’s Saurashtra region, where sowing has been delayed due to deficit rains , farmers like Rambhai Gadhavi were selling groundnut and cotton seeds to buy pulses seeds. “My farm hasn’t got rains and it is barren. Tur (Arhar) is a sturdy crop and I will plant it once it rains,” he says adding that sesame, castor and jowar were also other options he could look at.
Congress leader Ahmed Patel on twitter commented that cotton farmers across Gujarat facing a serious pink bollworm problem. “Bad monsoon will compound their distress,” he said.