Urad prices soften as monsoon boosts area under cultivation in kharif season: Govt

  • Prices of urad dal in domestic markets soften as government begins procurement of the summer crop, while area under cultivation in the Kharif season increases.

Puja Das
First Published10 Jul 2024, 06:55 PM IST
India is expected to produce 3.4 MT of tur in the 2023-24 crop year compared to last season’s 3.34 MT, and 1.5 MT of urad in Kharif alone against 1.8 MT in the previous season. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)
India is expected to produce 3.4 MT of tur in the 2023-24 crop year compared to last season’s 3.34 MT, and 1.5 MT of urad in Kharif alone against 1.8 MT in the previous season. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

The prices of black matpe or black gram, popularly known as urad dal, have started softening in the domestic market as monsoon rains enhance the area under cultivation during the current Kharif sowing season, according to a statement from the Department of Consumer Affairs.

Anticipation of a normal or above normal rainfall this monsoon season is expected to boost the morale of farmers, and lead to higher production of the crop in major urad producing states, such as Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra. 

As of 5 July, the area under cultivation for urad has reached 537,000 hectares compared to 367,000 hectares during the corresponding period last year. Hence, the 90-day crop is expected to experience a healthy Kharif production this year, said the statement.

Also read: Kharif sowing as of 28 June rises 33% year-on-year to 24 million hectares

Even the pre-registration by farmers through government agencies such as NAFED and NCCF, for selling their produce at the minimum support price (MSP), or above it once it is harvested, has seen significant momentum during this Kharif season.   

Towards domestic self-sufficiency

These efforts are a part of the government's strategy to encourage more farmers to grow pulses during the Kharif season, as it aims to attain self-sufficiency in this sector by encouraging domestic production.

For context, India imported 4.8% more urad at 579,597 tonnes in 2023 than in calendar year 2022, while total imports of the three major pulses—masur, tur and urad—in 2023 were at 2.9 million tonnes (MT), marking a 39.7% increase from the 2 MT imported in the year earlier.

India, which relies on imports to meet its domestic demand of pulses at about 28 mt per annum, primarily purchases these three pulses from Australia, Canada, Russia, Myanmar, Mozambique, Tanzania, Sudan and Malawi. Despite some improvement since 2011, the gap between demand and supply of pulses is widening and has necessitated annual import of 2.5-3 MT of pulses in the past few years.

In October last year, the agriculture ministry revised its final estimates for pulses production downwards to 26 MT for the 2022-23 crop year (July-June) from its May estimates of 27.5 MT due to a drop in production of major pulses such as tur and chana (gram). In the 2021-22 (July-June) crop year, the country is projected to have produced 27 MT pulses.

Further, in the 2023-24 crop year, the country is expected to produce 3.4 MT of tur compared to last season’s 3.34 MT, and 1.5 MT of urad in Kharif alone against 1.8 MT in the previous season. India produced 2.6 MT of urad in the entire 2022-23 crop year.

In Madhya Pradesh alone, a total of 8,487 farmers have already registered with NCCF and NAFED for urad dal this season, while other major urad producing states, such as Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh, have recorded pre-registrations of 2,037, 1,611 and 1,663 farmers, respectively. This indicates the growing participation of farmers in these initiatives.

Also read: India targets 27% increase in kharif onion acreage amid rising prices

Procurement of the summer urad crop is also currently underway under the Price Support Scheme by NAFED and NCCF, the government's statement said.

As a result of these initiatives, wholesale prices of urad have witnessed a week-on-week decline of 3.12% and 1.08%, as of 6 July, in Indore and Delhi markets, respectively.

In tandem with domestic prices, the landed prices of imported urad are also on the decline.

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First Published:10 Jul 2024, 06:55 PM IST
HomeIndustryAgricultureUrad prices soften as monsoon boosts area under cultivation in kharif season: Govt

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