The latest hit on pulses price hike have driven the hot conversation. In the country like India, each morning, a common man pray not to wake up with a news affecting the normal and basic necessities of life.
Petroleum and diesel subsequently price hike had always occupied the concern for common man.The government thus thinking of ways to reach the products to people in affordable rates.
Decades after it began transforming milk production and affordability through an innovative model based on theAmul pattern, National Diary Development Board (NDDB) is set to do likewise on pulses.
It already markets pulses through its Safal brand and plans to widen the presence through more exclusive tie-ups with farmer-producer organisations (FPOs). After it perfects a procurement mechanism on a national scale, NDDB plans to get into extension services – providing inputs to farmers and hand-holding to improve productivity.
"It is the same (as the) milk model, where we first entered into marketing and then started providing services like vaccination, fodder, etc," ,T Nandakumar, chairman of NDD.
He said as in milk, the bulk of the return it will get from selling the Safal brand of pulses would be shared with growers. Arvind Subramanian, the government’s chief economic advisor, had only a few days earlier called for replicating the Amul model in pulses, to tackle the growing demand and supply gap. He said so while delivering the Dr Verghese Kurien Memorial Lecture, organised by the Institute of Rural Management, Anand, at the NDDB headquarters.
The bedrock was the village producers’ co-operatives, which procured milk and provided inputs and services, making modern management and technology available to members. The aims were to raise production, augment rural incomes and ensure a fair price to consumers.
It is the same three pillars on which NDDB now wants to base its pulses initiative but through the FPOs. "We plan to start with purchase of 20-30 tonnes directly from farmers under the same model. Pulses will be unpolished but of superior quality, grown without the use of pesticide," said Nandakumar. He said the FPOs registered with Small Farmers Agribusiness Consortium would be targeted first.
"We are planning to approach the Centre for giving us relaxation from the procurement and storage norms recently issued," Nandakumar said.
The Board also plans to set up a processing centre in Jharkhand for freezing peas and processing of tomatoes, with an investment of slightly over Rs 70 crore. The centre would have a capacity of 100,000 tonnes and directly benefit around 50,000 farmers. The Board has also started working with the government of Uttarakhand to revive its milk cooperatives.
"This would ensure that women in the hills who have been badly impacted after the Kedernath and Badrinath floods would get a source of income," Nandakumar said.