India is likely to sell about 1 million tonnes of pulses domestically to avoid its stockpiles rotting in warehouses.
The government is attempting to sell the reserves in the open market and to some states and organizations such as railways and defence forces, official sources said, citing rules. That would account for about half of the total inventories held by the world’s largest consumer, they said.
India may sell 700,000 tonnes of pulses, food minister Ram Vilas Paswan told reporters in New Delhi last week. He did not comment on the quality of the grains.
The buffer stock of about 2 million tonnes, including around 379,000 tonnes of imported grains, was built by the government in 2016-17 so it could control any price surge by selling.
Production of pulses surged 40% from a year earlier to an all-time high of 22.95 million tonnes in 2016-17 after higher state-set minimum purchase prices encouraged farmers to increase the crop area, according to the farm ministry.
The wholesale price index of pulses has fallen 34% from its November 2016 level when it climbed to the highest since the start of a new series in April 2011, according to the commerce ministry.
The government will continue to purchase pulses from the local market to support farmers and consumers, if required, official sources said.