For the first time, provisions have been made provision to ascertain the sale of pulses on support price for the farmers and hence, wherever the market price of the pulses falls below the support price, the government would ascertain support price for the farmers, Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh said in Agra today.
Addressing the gathering at a function to celebrate International Pulses Year, 2016 in Agra, he said, “ The Government has also decided to maintain a buffer stock of pulses to the extent of 20 lakh tonne so that people could be provided pulses are reasonable prices when market prices escalate.”
The General Assembly of United Nations had decided to celebrate the year 2016 as International Pulses Year to make the common people aware of the nutritional properties in pulses.
The Minister said that the government has increased minimum support price of the pulses to promote the cultivation and production of pulses. The Centre has declared minimum support price for Arhar at Rs.4625/-, for black gram at Rs.4575/- and for Moong at Rs.4500/- which is the maximum support price till now. The Government has also declared additional bonus for Rs.25/- per quintal for pulses along with minimum support price.
Singh said that the Centre has taken a number of measures for International Pulses Year, 2016 to increase the production and productivity of pulse crops in the country. For this purpose, the Ministry and its agencies have implemented an extensive course of action jointly under National Food Security Mission Project. Under this scheme, the Centre has laid down a target of 200 lakh tonne production for the year 2016-17, 210 lakh tonne for year 2017-18 and 240 lakh tonne for year 2020-21.
The Minister also said that additional “breeder seed” production programmes have been launched with the cost of Rs.20.39 crores at Regional Centres of 10 Agricultural Universities with Indian Pulses Research Institute, Kanpur. A target of 5801 quintal additional breeder seed production has been fixed in addition to 7561 quintal breeder seed being produced presently by the Centres by 2018-19 apart from 3717 quintal additional breeder seed by 2016-17 by these Centres. Singh said that these steps have been taken to strengthen the formal seed mechanism of pulse crops and to increase availability of seeds of improved varieties in the country.
Singh said that “pulse seed hubs” are being established in State Agriculture Universities, Institutes of the Council and Agriculture Scientific Centres of major pulse producing States of the country. A target has been fixed to establish a total of 150 “Pulse Seed Hubs” from 2016-17 for increasing the availability of quality seeds for which a provision of Rs.225.31 crores has been made. Under this project, there is a target of 1.50 lakh quintal additional seed production per year. Each “Pulse Seed Hub” will produce a minimum of 1000 quintal quality seeds of pulse crops per year and supply it.