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Farmers May Benefit From The Futures’ Market: Niti Aayog's CEO

Farmers are receiving PSF in a timely way so that they do not have to face the weight of selling at prices below MSP.

Chintu Das
Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant
Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant

Farmers can benefit from the futures market, according to Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant, since it can help them receive greater price realisations and hedge against price volatility, as prices of important pulses frequently collapse below the government's predetermined minimum support price (MSP). Farmers, like millers, distributors, and retailers, should be permitted to participate in the marketplaces, he believes. 

"Policy advocacy for improving pulse value chains, like many other agricultural commodities, cannot be restricted to just increasing productivity and output. He spoke at a meeting organised by the India Pulses and Grains Association (IPGA) to celebrate World Pulses Day. "The focus should be on enhancing market access for farmers in terms of increased price realisations and enhanced risk mitigation," he added.

Kant stated that government procurement alternatives such as the Price Support Scheme (PSS) and the Price Stabilization Fund (PSF) are made accessible to farmers in a timely way so that they are not forced to sell at rates below MSP. However, he stated that there is a need to improve storage and warehousing facilities, as well as encourage farmer producer organisations (FPOs) and pulses value chains capable of dal milling and selling, in order to provide a stable market and greater returns for farmers. 

"Indian pulse output has risen from 8.4 million tonnes in 1950-51 to a new high of 25.7 million tonnes in 2020-21. In 2017-18, the maximum pulse production was 853 kg per hectare, indicating that "there is a lot of untapped potential for boosting pulse yield through technical innovations," he explained. While the Green Revolution and Maize Revolution drove the production of wheat, rice, and maize, Kant claims that a similar breakthrough in pulses has yet to be accomplished. Under the current conditions, it is critical to guarantee that production goals are connected with farmer profitability in order to build a sustainable environment, he added. 

"As technology and high-yielding climate-resilient seeds become more important, farmers' production costs will inevitably rise. As a result, either quantity or quality of yield should allow farmers to recoup their production costs and generate fair profits in order to continue cultivating pulses," he said. 

IPGA vice-chairman Bimal Kothari asked the government to modernise dal mills in order to attract foreign direct investment into the industry. He also encouraged the administration to enable pulses, like rice and wheat, to be distributed under the Public Distribution System. 

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