IPGA Seeks End To Pulse Export Ban

AHMEDABAD - Feb 15/17 - SNS -- India's ban on pulse exports should be lifted to help improve prices paid to the country's farmers, argued the India Pulses and Grain Association (IPGA) in a brief to the government.

India Pulses and Grains Association chairman, Pravin Dongre, said, "It is the trade's humble submission that in the current scenario of increased production, prices falling below MSP and government's intention to bring agricultural reforms are an opportune time to remove the ban and enable exports of pulses from the country. The suggestions made in the representation, if implemented, would greatly encourage farmers and related stake holders."

The situation has changed dramatically since the ban was imposed in response to the 2006-07 drought, the IPGA argued in its brief. "The government's focus on developing a longer term, sustainable solution in creating a larger domestic supply base of pulses can only happen if the farmer is incentivized to view pulses as a profitable crop."

Pulse production across the 2016-17 production cycle will top 21 million metric tons (MT), with the result prices paid to farmers are falling below the minimum support price (MSP) for several classes.

Removing the export ban would expand opportunities for farmers to sell what they have grown. The resulting competition between exporters and domestic buyers is expected to raise average prices paid to farmers, which could make domestic markets less volatile. "(moreover) exports will boost capacity utilization, generate employment and income in the milling industry and also build a case for modernization,"