Though the government has taken a series of measures since late August to push up prices of agricultural commodities, this hasn't yielded much on the ground.
The price of soybean seed and groundnut seed, for instance, grown during the Kharif season, and of mustard, planted in the rabi season, has remained below or barely at the government's Minimum Support Price (MSP) since September.
According to data sourced from agmarket.nic.in, barring masur (red lentil), the prices of most Kharif and rabi pulses -- moong (green gram), chana (Bengal gram), urad (black gram) or tur -- have stayed below the MSP.
In the case of chana, the price in September was Rs 5,725 a quintal at the Amravati mandi in Maharashtra, which remained so till October.
Since then, it has slid and was quoted at Rs 3,500-3,700 a qtl this month before the government's raising of import duty to 30 per cent pushed it to Rs 4,000 a qtl -- still below the MSP of Rs 4,400 a qtl.
In the case of wheat, though, doubling of import duty to 20 per cent seems to have had some impact and prices have moved up from below Rs 1,700 a qtl in September to Rs 1,750-1,760 this month.
"Tariff policy changes take three to six months to show results on the ground and it seems we have been late in taking many decisions. Also, there is a hangover from imports already in, which will take time to exhaust," Ashok Gulati, former chairman of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices, told Business Standard.
He said chana, one of the largest grown among Indian pulses, would see farm-gate prices fall more in the coming months, under the pressure of a bumper harvest and weak global markets.
Siraj Hussain, a former Union agriculture secretary, says there is no demand in the markets, as traders after demonetisation could be putting surplus cash in safer investments.Major decisions so far to boost farm-gate prices May 2017: Centre lifts stock holding limits on all pulses to boost demand August 2017: Centre imposes quantitative restrictions on the import of tur, urad and moong; in tur it is 200,000 yearly & urad and moong combined it is 300,000 annually. November 8, 2017: Centre imposes 50% import duty on yellow peas and doubles import duty on wheat to 20%. November 16, 2017: Centre allows export of all varieties of pulses. November 18, 2017: Centre doubles import duty on all crude edible oils, hikes them by 15 percentage points on refined oils. December 21, 2017 : Centre imposes 30% import duty on chana and masur