Summer moong sells below MSP in mandis, farmers say have no choice

As summer moong started reaching Punjab mandis a few days back, the price opened 10 to 17 per cent below MSP.

Balwinder Singh (50), a farmer of Tarewala village in Moga district, had grown summer moong on 35 acres this year with a hope of getting Rs 7,196 MSP announced by the Centre. On Tuesday, however, he sold his crop at the rate of Rs 6,000 to 6,200 per quintal, around 17 per cent to 14 per cent below the MSP fixed on the recommendation of Commission for Agriculture Cost and Price (CACP).

As summer moong started reaching Punjab mandis a few days back, the price opened 10 to 17 per cent below MSP.

After selling his crop, Balwinder said: “I brought my crop to Jagraon mandi in Ludhiana district as it is one of the main markets for moong dal crop. It is auctioned with the help of arhtiyas and private players purchase it. Government has neither any role in procurement nor a control over its prices. We have to sell it as per market rate as we do not have any other option”

Balwinder grows summer moong (March to June), apart from paddy (June to October) and potato (October to March). He has around 60 acres of land.

Another farmer, Avtar Singh, sold his moong crop at the rate of Rs 6,500 per quintal in Rayya mandi in Amritsar district. He said that private players are not ready to give farmers the MSP fixed by the government. “Government must have some control on the MSP fixed by it,” he said.

In the retail market the rate of moong dal is Rs 110 per kg, which comes to Rs 11,100 per quintal.

Moong cultivation provides farmers with an opportunity to have a third crop in a year. Moreover, moong being a leguminous crop is beneficial for the soil as it helps in nitrogen fixation and contributes to improving soil fertility. It is just a 65-day crop.

President of Federation of Arhtiya Association Punjab, Vijay Kalra, said that the moong dal has started arriving in around half dozen markets of the state and the maximum rate is Rs 6,500 per quintal and minimum around Rs 6,000 per quintal, which may go up because it is just the beginning of the arrival of the crop in the mandis.

Going by the economics of this crop, farmers can get 5-6 quintals moong per acre (12-15 quintals per hectare if the crop is bumper) which translates to Rs 35,980 to 43,176 per acre if they get the MSP of moong decided by the Centre (Rs 7,196 per quintal). But at the current market price, a farmer would be selling it at Rs 30,000 to Rs 36,000 per acre. While the input cost would be around Rs 8,000-9,000 per acre including seed, labour, and other expenditure. But if the farmer has taken the field on rent then he has to bear the rental cost of around Rs 18,000 per acre. (Annual rental cost of per acre is Rs 45,000 to 55,000 per acre in most part barring some districts of Malwa regions where annual rent is Rs 60,000 to 65,000 per acre. If a farmer is growing three crops he has to include 1/3rd rental cost per crop)

Experts said that after deducting input cost and rental cost, he would be left with Rs 8,000 to 15,000 per acre if he sells crops at the fixed MSP, but at current market price, he would be getting Rs 3000 to Rs 9,000 per acre only. If a farmer has his own land then he can make a reasonable profit of Rs 21,000 to Rs 27,000 per acre.

“This expenditure does not include the family labour hours and when those are included, then the farmers will be at loss which means that not only the MSP should be increased as per the formula of M S Swaminathan commission’s recommendation but also farmers should get the full MSP,” said Jagmohan Singh, general secretary, BKU (Dakuanda).

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