June 2020 \ Cover Story \ NAFED FEATURE
“Procured highest volumes of pulses in history of nation”

The National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED) has been engaged in procuring rabi crops, pulses and oilseeds very effectively even during the lockdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The procurement of chana and mustard, in fact, has been going on smoothly and payments are being made to farmers within three days. Earlier, Mr Sanjeev Kumar Chadha, Managing Director, NAFED, spoke to India Empire magazine’s Editor and Publisher Sayantan Chakravarty

You’ve created a buffer stock of pulses and onions under the Price Stabilization Fund Scheme of the Government of India. Please talk us through the figures…

Creating a buffer for pulses was an idea introduced by the Prime Minister of India. There was a time when pulse prices had touched Rs 200 per kg. Post buffering, they came down to the Rs 100 per kg mark. Now the volume of buffer is about 18 lakh tonnes. In a country like India where the majority of the population is vegetarian, pulses remain the main source of protein. As we grow economically, more segments of the population will be a part of the middle class segment, and our demand for pulses would proportionately grow. Currently demand stands at the level of 22-23 million tonnes, and we are almost producing that. Last year the Government started a scheme of subsidized pulses for ration card holders. Our challenge today is to grow more pulses to keep up with the demand of the country.

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