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Concerned over crash in prices of Bengal gram, the Congress-ruled Karnataka government today demanded the central government to initiate procurement of the major rabi pulse crop at a minimum support price (MSP). State Agriculture Minister Byre Gowda met Union Agriculture Secretary S K Pattanayak and gave a represenation in this regard here. "Bengal gram is one of the major pulse crops in the state. Prices are ruling below the MSP at present.
Therefore, we have urged the central government to start the procurement operation under the Price Support Scheme (PSS)," Gowda said after the meeting. The procurement of Bengal gram at MSP rate under the PSS should be done on a priority basis and cooperative Nafed may be directed to take necessary action, he added. In the representation, the state government has informed that Bengal gram prices are ruling in the range of Rs 3,303 to 3,649 per quintal in some parts, much lower than the MSP Rs 4,400 per quintal declared for the current crop year. "There are also possibilities of drastic fall in the price of Bengal gram in the coming days with the arrivals of peak season. Therefore, it is kindly requested to accord permission to take up procurement operation under the PSS," it said. Bengal gram is one of the major pulse crops in Karnataka and is being cultivated in 13.63 lakh hectares with an estimated production of 8.10 lakh tonnes during the rabi season of the 2017-18 crop year (July-June). Dharwad, Gadag, Belagavi, Vijayapura, Kalburgi, Yadgir, Bidar, Raichur and Bagalkot are the major Bengal gram growing districts in the state. Bengal gram is harvested from December to March and the peak season of market arrivals is between January to March.
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