The government’s supply of chana (gram), which accounts for more than 50% of the country’s pulse production, has so far exceeded 2.12 million tonnes (mt) in the current rabi season (2022 -23), against only 0.6 mt in the same period last year.
Sources told FE that the supply of chana, which is carried out by the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (Nafed) under minimum support price (MSP) operations, is expected to exceed 2.5 tonnes in a few weeks, as farmers bring in their produce to the major producing states of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.
Supply operations are expected to continue until mid-June.
Chana’s supply target is around 2.9 million tonnes for the current session.
Due to a bumper harvest, mandi prices are hovering around Rs 4,600-4,800 per quintal in all markets, against an MSP of Rs 5,230 per quintal, leading to increased Nafed purchases .
Due to increased purchases of chana, the government currently has 3.58 tons of pulses of various varieties as a buffer stock, compared to the norm of 2.3 tons.
However, in the case of other varieties of pulses, due to lower purchases, government stocks are smaller – moong (0.3 tons), urad (0.03 tons), tur (0.12 tons ) and masoor (0.07 tons) at present.
In 2016, the government had created a buffer stock of pulses, so that retail prices could be moderated by releasing stocks to the open market in a calibrated manner. Nafed purchases pulses on behalf of the Department of Consumer Affairs and the Department of Agriculture and Farmer Welfare, under a price stabilization fund and price support program.
So far, farmer cooperatives have purchased chana in Madhya Pradesh (0.66 ton), Maharashtra (0.6 ton), Gujarat (0.54 ton), Karnataka (0.07 ton ), Telangana (0.05 tonnes) and Andhra Pradesh (0.6 tonnes) from farmers, since purchases began in April.
According to the third preliminary estimate of foodgrain production released recently by the Ministry of Agriculture, pulse production for the current crop year is estimated at a record 27.75 tonnes, almost 9% higher than the previous year. The production of chana (gram) has increased by more than 17% during the current agricultural campaign to reach 13.98 tons against 11.91 tons the previous year.
“In the coming months, we expect the arrivals of mandis to decrease and at the same time the demand from the millers can be observed, which could bring the prices of mandis closer to the MSP,” said Harsha Rai, manager. of Mayur Global Corporation, a major commodity company. .
The gram has a weighting of 0.6% in food inflation. Inflation in chana was 2.72% in April 2022. A large part of the total production of chana is transformed into processing to produce chickpea flour (besan).