Maharashtra: After the disclosure of the agreement by the Central government over the import of pigeon pea (Arhar ) lentils worth Rs. 15 lakh quintals from Mozambique, farmers and the farmers' union of Maharashtra state are not happy with this approval and are willing to make a movement. The notification came into existence by the central government last week. Maharashtra and Karnataka are the largest producers of the cash crop Arhar.
According to the Kisan Sabha of the Maharashtra state, the current price for the produce of Arhar is way lower than the stipulated Minimum Support Price (MSP) by the government. More than five lakh ton of stock is still waiting to be sold and according to the sources the government agencies are still holding for the actual price for the stock of approx ten lakh ton.
Mr. Ajit Navle, General Secretary, Kisan Sabha said, Vidarbha district in Maharashtra is the mass producer of Arhar but still the farmers here get to face the trouble any many ways. The Union is planning to organize a state level movement from the 1st of June. In 2016-17 the selling price for the Arhar was Rs. 100-150 /- per kilo, later then it got increased. The government signed a deal for the import of 37.5 lakh quintals from Mozambique, where the import of 21.5 lakh quintal have already been made and the rest 15 lakh quintal will be imported in 2018-19.
Devendra Vora from Friendship Traders has suggested that if the government will allow the quota for the import from Mozambique then it will be really harmful to the farmers in here. Currently, in India the wholesale rate for Arhar is Rs. 38-42 per kg, where MSP for it is Rs. 54 per kg. Legumes to be imported from Mozambique will cost approx Rs. 28-30 per kg.
Well, the agreement has been made between two governments of the different countries, it is supposed to be accepted widely and warmly. In 2016-17 the Arhar production was 48.7 lakh ton and it is expected that in 2017-18 it will be 41.8 lakh ton for the same.
Vimal Kothari, Vice President of Indian Pulses and Grains Association (IGPA), said that we have written an application, which says the import quota should not be open for now. Rates will get higher during the festive season, then is the only suitable time to open the import quota, which will bring the stability in the market value.
Krishi Jagran, New Delhi