INDIA: Following the announcement of a critical shortage of pulses last year, the retail prices for dal variants were much higher than that of chicken or eggs. However, it seems the crisis has been averted as the Indian ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution has announced a buffer stock of the various pulses that were in shortage crisis in June 2016.
The Indian government has approved engaging professional pulses buffer management entity for efficient management of the buffer stock. Adequate capacity for storage of pulses is available with the Central Warehousing Corporation (CWC).
As on 01.02.2017, around 9.71 lakh tonnes of pulses have been procured and contracted for imports towards building the buffer. The details are given below in table. Prices of pulses have not increased during the last two months of the current fiscal.
No State has asked for one lakh tonnes of pulses from the buffer individually. However, based on the demand received from the States/UTs, as on 01.02.2017, around 50,958.01 tonnes of pulses has been allocated to the States/UTs, of which they have paid for around 37,533.549 tonnes and lifted around 35,454.124 tonnes.
The lack of rainfall from last year’s Indian monsoon season can be attributed to the El Niño weather phenomenon, this was what contributed to a poor crop growth in main growing areas with only a 40% rainfall.
Government has explored the feasibility of contract farming of pulses in African countries — Mozambique, Tanzania and Malawi — as it looks for a long-term solution.
This information was announced by Shri C.R Chaudhary, the Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, in written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha.
“For long-term solutions of the pulses crisis, we are exploring the option of working with Mozambique, Tanzania and Malawi. These countries grow dal variants similar to India’s domestic varieties. So, we are exploring this option,” the official said last year. Read that story by clicking here