Indian government releases Rs 1160 crore to NAFED for buying pulses, onion

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The Indian government has released Rs 1,160 crore to the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd (NAFED), a marketing cooperative for agricultural produce in India, for building a buffer stock of onion and pulses.

The funding was made available through the Price Stabilisation Fund, constituted to contain extreme volatility in prices of selected commodities. Under this fund, the commodities are bought at market prices.

For the buffer stock purpose, India has set a procurement target of 1.5 lakh tonnes of Masoor Dal (Red Lentils), 5.5 lakh tonnes of Tur Dal (Split Pigeon Peas) and 50,000 tonnes of onion, according to reports.

“Earlier, NAFED was asked to procure 2 lakh tonnes of tur dal from the rabi season. Now, it has been decided to procure an additional 3.5 lakh tonnes of tur, taking the total to 5.5 lakh tonne,” a senior official told PTI.

This move is likely to keep the prices of onions and lentils in check and prevent any kind of shortage amid the Coronavirus pandemic.