New Delhi | 22 Dec 2016
Centre has now made provision to ascertain that farmers get the minimum support prices (MSP) for pulses. The declaration was made by Union Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Minister Radha Mohan Singh today at the closing ceremony of International Pulses Year 2016 in Agra. Under this provision, wherever the market price of the pulses falls below the support price, the Government of India ascertain support price for the farmers. Government has also decided to maintain a buffer stock of pulses to the extent of 20 lakh tonne so that people could be provided pulses at reasonable prices when market prices go up. Therefore, in September, government had already directed its agencies to buy pulses directly from farmers in all producing states for creating buffer stock to supply lentils at cheaper rates and ensuring support price for growers. The General Assembly of United Nations had decided to celebrate the year 2016 as International Pulses Year to make the common people aware of the nutritional properties in pulses. Government had increased MSP of pulses for 2016-17 earlier in May this year and also announced bonus Rs 425 per quintal. Currently the MSP for arhar is at Rs.4625/-, for black gram at Rs.4575/- and for Moong at Rs.4500/-.
In a press release issued by the Ministry, Agriculture Minister has said that the Government of India has taken a number of measures to increase the production and productivity of pulse crops in the country. For this purpose, the two Departments of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare and Indian Council of Agriculture Research and Agriculture have implemented an extensive course of action jointly under National Food Security Mission Project. Under this scheme, Government of India has laid down a target of 200 lakh tonne production for the year 2016-17, 210 lakh tonne for year 2017-18 and 240 lakh tonne for year 2020-21. He has added that additional “breeder seed” production programmes have been launched with the cost of Rs.20.39 crores at Regional Centres of 10 Agricultural Universities with Indian Pulses Research Institute, Kanpur. A target of 5801 quintal additional breeder seed production has been fixed in addition to 7561 quintal breeder seed being produced presently by the Centres by 2018-19 apart from 3717 quintal additional breeder seed by 2016-17 by these Centres. Shri Singh said that these steps have been taken to strengthen the formal seed mechanism of pulse crops and to increase availability of seeds of improved varieties in the country.
Minister also informed that “pulse seed hubs” are being established in State Agriculture Universities, Institutes of the Council and Agriculture Scientific Centres of major pulse producing States of the country. A target has been fixed to establish a total of 150 “Pulse Seed Hubs” from 2016-17 for increasing the availability of quality seeds for which a provision of Rs.225.31 crores has been made. Under this project, there is a target of 1.50 lakh quintal additional seed production per year. Each “Pulse Seed Hub” will produce a minimum of 1000 quintal quality seeds of pulse crops per year and supply it.
Shri Singh praised the efforts of all the farmers, scientists and policy makers for increasing production and productivity/ availability of pulses in the country and hoped that they would put in their best efforts to make India self sufficient in pulses production.