Purchased 56 lakh quintal tur dal, claims government

With a bumper crop this year, the tur prices have dipped drastically, leaving the farmers high and dry.

Mumbai: The tur dal (pigeon pea) crisis in rural Maharashtra has created an uproar with the state government claiming to have purchased 56 lakh quintal so far from the farmers. The government has boasted that this is the highest procurement so far. However, the opposition is not buying this claim and goes further to say that the dal was bought at a low price. With a bumper crop this year, the tur prices have dipped drastically, leaving the farmers high and dry.

The data obtained from the marketing department of the Maharashtra government reveals that the Centre has purchased 41.51 lakh quintal tur dal; the state government has purchased 4.74 lakh quintal and the Centre’s agriculture department bought 10.11 lakh quintal under the price support scheme. The estimated tur crop in Maharashtra is around one crore quintal this year.

Following the crisis, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis had met Union food minister Ramvilas Paswan last month in Delhi. After the meet, the government proposed to buy the tur dal, which was lying with the farmers since the marker prices had come down.

Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant said the government stand is misleading. “The government is buying tur dal because the farmers have not received the minimum support price in the market. The farmers opted to cultivate tur because of the appeal by the Prime Minister. The government is now forced to buy tur because its market price has crashed but this is a failure of the government and they are not doing the farmers any favour by buying it,” he said.

Swabhiman Shetkari Sanghatana MP, Raju Shetti claimed the figures were only on paper and the ground reality was different. “If we go by the government claim, then when is the government going to buy the remaining tur? There has also been no change in the market price despite the government buying tur. Neither consumers, nor the farmers have received any benefit,” Shetti said.

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