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Govt plans to enhance pulses milling capacity

India has about 10,000 pulses mills, with each having production capacity of 10-20 tonnes a day

Sanjeeb Mukherjee  |  New Delhi 

Govt plans to enhance pulses milling capacity

To cut down the time lag between production of and its final consumption, the central government is planning to enhance the milling in producing states. 

This will help in ensuring that the once the unmilled are sold in the market, it takes less time to reach the final consumers.

According to sources, India has about 10,000 mills, with each having a of producing 10-20 tonnes a day. Milling of mostly involves removal of the outer kernel and splitting the beans in two halves. In traditional mills, the process sometimes leads to just 65-70 per cent recovery, while this goes up to 90 per cent in modern mills. In other words, because of inadequate modern milling capacities around 25-30 per cent of total production is lost. 

“Despite having production this year, prices in some retail are much higher than the minimum support price (MSP), which could be due to inadequate milling capacity, which leads to delay in final product reaching the target,” Food Minister Ramvilas Paswan had told Business Standard in an interaction recently. 

He said the government would soon initiate discussion with all stakeholders and could even look at framing a comprehensive policy to encourage development of the modern milling capacities in states where are grown. More than 80 per cent of come from Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.

Paswan said in 2016-17, India’s total production was estimated to be at 22.4 million tonnes (mt), which along with five mt of imports translate into a total availability of 27.4 mt, while the consumption is expected to be around 24.6 mt. 

This means that there should be of around 2.8 million tonnes.However, despite this prices in some retail have stayed much higher than the MSP, though the government is buying at MSP only.