The recent rise in prices of pulses may have pinched the consumers but as per agricultural economic experts from Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) this can galvanise farmers to go ahead with cultivation of pulses. On top of this, they pointed out that Minimum Support Price (MSP) hike of Rupees 275 for moong and urad variety of pulses by Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) will further foster the farmers in this regard. Now, farmers can fetch Rupees 4,625 per quintal for these two varieties.
As if now, Punjab is no way self sufficient in meeting the need of pulses of its population and is dependent upon other states. Moreover, India too is not independent due to which huge amount of pulses is imported each year from countries like Canada, Australia, Burma and France. In other words, it also makes it clear that encouraging farmers towards pulses is need of the hour, opined an economist Raj Kumar, from the department of economics and sociology, PAU.
“The prices have risen because demand and supply are not in sync. Demand is too high and supply is less. Moreover, imported products are expensive”, shared Kumar.
Mohinder Singh Sidhu, a senior economist and former head the same department revealed that production of pulses in Punjab decreased after 1970 as paddy and wheat replaced them extensively in Kharif and Rabi season respectively. However, to lower the prices of pulses, Union government will soon import more pulses on large scale, he unfolded.
“Interestingly, at the same time India is also the biggest producer, consumer and importer of pulses and with advancing years, imports are rising. If our farmers take up sowing of pulses, lot of money spent on pulses can be saved. Prices of pulses will also remain stable in this scenario and will boost diversification”, underlined Sidhu.
While sharing the prices of pulses he said, in the capital New Delhi prices crossed 100 per kg this May from 80's per Kg of most variety of pulses as compared to last year. When HT Team toured various city stores and shops on Friday, it was noted that prices were sky rocketing and some of them even higher than the capital. Talking to some of the customers, they lamented that it was not expected by them that prices of pulses will also rise too high.
“The state along with centre government must lower the prices. If prices of basic food like pulses will rise, many may give up consuming them”, said Jatinder Kaur, a housewife. Many shoppers like her termed buying pulses an expensive affair and hold a similar wish of low prices.
Meanwhile, PAU's department of extension education on the other hand has recently decided to find out reasons that discourage farmers from sowing of pulses.
India Import Figures: Pulses
Year Lakh Tonnes Value in Crores (Rupees)
2011-12 33.65 8931
2012-13 38.39 12,734
2013-14 30.5 10,551
2014-15 45 NA
Current Prices of some Pulses (per Kg):
Moong Whole (Rs. 130), Mix Dal (Rs. 134), Masoor Dal (Rs. 116), Moong Green (Rs. 137), Black Split Chilka (Rs. 144) Source: More Stores, Ludhiana
Toor Dal (Rs. 110), Mix Dal (Rs. 101), Moong Daal (Rs. 119) Source: Reliance Fresh Stores, Ludhiana
Prices at local shops are also almost the same as the stores.
(With inputs from Shreya Marwaha)