Mumbai: Concerned over the drastic fall in pulses and oilseeds production across the globe which has affected the domestic market, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken an initiative to launch a dedicated programme to promote the sowing of key agri commodities.
Two schemes to be assisted by the Centre may be launched at a joint conference of Agriculture ministers of all states scheduled for November 24-25 in New Delhi, Maharashtra minister for Agriculture Eknath Khadse said.
According to Khadse, only 30% countries in the world produce pulses and oilseeds, while the rest are just consumers.
“In last five to six years, due to natural calamities and other reasons, production of pulses has reduced drastically.
According to the demand and supply rule, shortage in production has affected prices, which suddenly shot up during the festive season”, he said.
The minister claimed that in the coming decade, the production of tur, oilseeds and other pulses will only go down.
“Thus, there is a need to be prepared for a long-term solution, for which the Prime Minister has taken the initiative”, Khadse said.
He further said Modi has permitted Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan to hold a meeting with state Agriculture ministers despite the Winter session of Parliament in progress that time.
“The meeting will thus be held on the November 24 and 25 in the national capital,” Khadse said.
Khadse said the Union government is planning to introduce a ‘Pulses Development Program’ and an ‘Oilseed Development Program’ which is likely to be approved and announced in the meeting.
“It will be a Centre-State program and the subsidy will be shared to promote the production of oilseeds and pulses across the country. Another issue that will be on the agenda of the meeting is to finalise a Minimum Support Price (MSP) for tur daal”, Khadse said.
“The MSP of tur has not been increased during the last four years. As of now, the MSP is Rs 42/kg. It should be increased to a certain limit so that both farmers and consumers benefit”, he said.
Khadse however clarified that he did not mean that the MSP would increase by double or so, but whatever will it be, people will know about it.
“This will also curb hoarding and the increase in prices of pulses by traders”, he said.
Meanwhile, Rahuri-based (in Ahmednagar) Mahatma Jotiba Phule Agriculture University has developed seed of pulses which can produce crops throughout the year.
Dr Panjabrao Agriculture university (Akola) and Vasantrao Naik Agriculture university (Parbhani) are also conducting research on pulses, Khadse informed.