In Punjab, private players make a killing with ‘moong’ procurement

By Harpreet Bajwa| Published: 03rd July 2022 10:23 AM
Image used for representational purposes only (File photo | PTI)

NEW DELHI: Punjab farmers growing ‘moong’ (green gram) this year stand shortchanged. The government has failed to procure the full pulse crop at a Minimum Support Price (MSP), as promised. It has resulted in distress selling where private players have bought a bulk of the crop much below the MSP.

The government has bought only 1,450 metric tonnes of the crop until June 30 out of the total 13,690 MT that arrived in the state mandis (local markets). This procurement is almost 10% of the total crop arrivals. The distress selling is largely due to bureaucratic hurdles. The state government for the first time started procurement of green gram at an MSP of Rs 7,275 per quintal in a move aimed at encouraging crop diversification to break the water-guzzling paddy crop cycle. However, as per government data, private players have bought around 90% of the crop arrivals at 15 to 32 per cent below the MSP.

As per data, the state government could procure the highest supply from Bathinda district (around 550 MT) followed by Barnala district (540 MT) and Ludhiana (300 MT). In contrast, private players procured around 10,000 MT from Ludhiana alone. Earlier in a statement, the state government claimed that as an affirmative response to the appeal of Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, the farmers this year sowed the moong crop on around one lakh acres as compared to 50,000 acres last year. A yield of 4.75 lakh quintal was expected this year.

Agriculture experts say that if the moong crop was sown is around 95,000 acres across the state this year with per acre yield of around 4-5 quintals crops, it could have meant around 38,000 MT of the crop
in total. Farmers say the government has made cumbersome procedures to procure the crop on MSP, forcing them to sell the crop to private players much below the MSP.

Another reason being cited for the low government procurement is the presence of more moisture than the permissible limits or broken or discoloured grain. As per norms, the moisture content should be up to 12%, shriveled grain around 3% and broken grain around 4% in the crop. Hardeep Singh, a farmer from Jagraon, sold his crop at ` 6,100 per quintal to private players, which is below the MSP of ` 7,275.

Tags : Punjab farmers Moong MSP

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