In view of sharp decline in prices of moong dal, the central government on Tuesday announced to procure the commodity at minimum support price and asked the states to also do so to safeguard the interest of farmers.
"Over the years government used to fix MSP for moong dal, but there used to be no procurement by government agencies. But this year following proposals from Karnataka and Maharashtra governments, decision has been taken to procure the same," an Agriculture Ministry official said here.
The high prices of pulses has been a major issue haunting the government this year. Last month the central government had fixed the minimum support price (MSP) of moong at Rs 5,275 per quintal for this year.
This includes Rs 4,850 per quintal MSP and bonus of Rs 425 per quintal.
The government was concerned over the fact that moong prices could further fall when harvesting of the crop begins from October and that would adversely impact a large number of farmers especially in states like Maharashtra, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh.
In July, Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan expressed apprehensions on this and wondered if farmers would demand MSP purchase.
"The MSP for Moong was to come into force from October 1. Now the government has ordered that the same will be effective from September 1 and will be procured by official agencies also," the source said adding this has been done "to safeguard the interest of farmers".
Sources further said state-run NAFED have already made arrangements to procure moong dal in states like Rajasthan, Telangana and Madhya Pradesh.
Thus keeping the interest of farmers in mind, the centre has accordingly requested other states also to procure moong dal at the MSP rates.