NEW DELHI: Facing the heat over the exorbitant rate of pulses in the market, the government is working on long-term solutions which includes the launch of modified seeds of moong and tur daal to keep hoarders at bay.
According to a government note, the Indian Council of Agricultural Research is working on modified seeds for pulses and is set to release 55-day-maturity moong daal and 110-day-maturity tur daal within two years. Various existing varieties of moong daal mature in 80-100 days while for tur daal the maturity period ranges between 150 and 200 days.
The government is hopeful that by 2017-18 and 2018-19 at least 2,000 to 2,500 kg of breeder seeds will be made available. The biggest problem, the note says, is the production of just 18 million tonnes against the demand of 23 million tonnes.
“The target is to increase the production of pulses by 21 million tonnes in 2017-18 and 24 million tonnes 2020-21,” the government note said adding that a buffer stock of five lakh tonnes should also be maintained to control the price rise. The government in last year had imported tur daal to increase availability in the market and check prices but after registering declining trends for couple of months, the retail rates are shooting up again.
In December, the government also decided to import 10,000 tonnes of pulses to create a buffer stock to check hoarding.
According to the Price Monitoring Cell of the Department of Consumer Affairs, the tur daal price in Tirunelveli has gone up by Rs 7 between April 1 to April 11. Similarly Tur was selling for Rs 136 in Chennai on April 11, up by Rs 3 from Rs 133 on April 1. In Delhi, the tur price has gone up by Rs 8 per kg in the last 10 days, Rs 7 in Shimla and Rs 10 in Bhubaneshwar.
■ Only 18 million tonnes of pulses produced against the demand of 23 million tonnes yearly
■ Buffer stock of five lakh tonnes required to control the price rise
■ Pulses imported last year to check hoarding