India Pulses & Grains Association hosts webinar on Kharif Crop Outlook for 2020-21

While Dr S K Malhotra, Agriculture Commissioner says that they expect to break the 2017-18 pulses production record this year, Dr Makarand Kulkarni of Skymet Weather Services warns of a possible delayed monsoon withdrawal as well as events like extended winters, severe dip in temperature and frost could be seen between December to February could witness

Mumbai: India Pulses and Grains Association (IPGA), the nodal body for India’s pulses trade and industry, hosted The IPGA Knowledge Series Webinar on KHARIF CROP OUTLOOK with over 900 participants from across 30 countries. The webinar had a focused discussion on key aspects like sowing, weather impact, impact of monsoon this season, expected production, demand & supply as well as price outlook for Kharif pulses viz., Urad, Moong and Tur.
The speakers for the KHARIF CROP OUTLOOK WEBINAR included esteemed panelists like Dr. S. K. Malhotra, Agriculture Commissioner, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Government of India; Dr. Makarand Kulkarni Chief Product Planning and Quality, Skymet Weather Services Pvt. Ltd.; Mr. Nirav Desai, Managing Partner, GGN Research; Mr. B Krishnamurthy, Managing Director, Four-P International Pvt. Ltd., Chennai; Mr. Anish Goyal, Di-rector, AgroPure Capital Foods and Mr. Nitin Kalantri, CEO, Kalantry Food Products. The webinar was moderated by well-known commodities expert and television anchor, Ms. Manisha Gupta, Editor – Commodities & Currencies, CNBC TV 18.
Mr. Pravin Dongre, Founder Director, IPGA said, “We take care to ensure that our webinars are topical and relevant to the existing scenario in the country and the trade. Since the Kharif Pulses harvest has just about started and the crop has started arriving in the mandis slowly but steadily across the country, we felt this was the perfect time to host the Kharif Crop Outlook webinar.”
Mr. Bimal Kothari, Vice Chairman, IPGA said, “Our esteemed panelists, domain experts in their respective fields, presented an in-depth analysis on Kharif Pulses including sowing, production, supply & demand and expected price outlook. We also had insights on whether the weather has helped or affected the crops and if there are any other weather vagaries expected in the coming months.”
Dr. S K Malhotra, Agriculture Commissioner, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Government of India speaking about the Kharif crop for 2020-21 said, “Pulses sowing for the 2020-12 Kharif pulses has reached 138.62 Lakh Ha, an increase of 6.20 Lakh Ha over last year. The condition of the kharif crop is excellent in most areas barring a very few where there has been some excessive rain and as per our 1st Advance Estimates the Kharif Pulses production for 2020-21 should reach 9.20 million tons vis-à-vis 7.72 million tons. The prospects for the Rabi season also look excellent given that reservoirs in India are at 85% of their capacity so there will be no shortage of water for farmers during Rabi sowing.  The Ministry of Agriculture is extremely confident of the 2020-21 pulses production breaking the 2017-18 record.”
Dr. Malhotra, speaking specifically about the Urad scenario said, “Last year, we produced 13 lakh tonnes of urad, but this year, our first estimates say that we are going to achieve a production of 21.5 lakh tonnes of urad within the kharif season alone. This is because even if in some places the crops have been damaged, alternatively, there has been an increase in the sowing area as well. Since the Urad crop is still in the field, the Government is closely monitoring the Urad situation to decide on the decision to be taken with respect to allowing imports. But the feedback which I have received from the states over production levels, it is good, productivity levels are more this year.”
Dr. Makarand Kulkarni, Chief – Product Planning & Quality at Skymet Weather Services speaking about the expected pulses production said, “Despite crop damage witnessed in major producing states, higher acreage will help Moong production reach about 1.50 million tons. Similarly, excessive rains have damages Urad crops as well but higher sowing is expected to result in around 2.09 million tons. With respect to Tur, crop condition is mostly good so far and in vegetative to branching stage in the states of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Telangana and Jharkhand. However, in Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh severe damage to the Tur Crop has been noticed due to water logging and the crop is reeling under threat of rot, wilt and pest attack due to excess soil moisture.”
Dr. Kulkarni, speaking about the weather conditions said, “Between September 2020 till Feb. 2021, normal rainfall is expected during North-east Monsoon this year so far. However, La Nina ‘Watch’ is still ‘ON’, which could lead frequent weather systems resulting into extended winters and weather vagaries. Period of December to February could witness events like extended winters, severe dip in temperature and frost.”
Mr. Nirav Desai, Managing Partner, GGN Research speaking about the weather conditions and their effect said, We had 18% surplus and timely rainfall in June and a 9.9% deficit in July, due to which we started facing some moisture stress, but then with 26.6% surplus, rains improved in early August, benefitting the crops initially. But excessive rains in August and early September led to flooding in a lot of areas thereby damaging damaged pulses crops.”
Mr. Desai, speaking expected production of Kharif pulses said, “We expect the Moong kharif production to be the same as last year’s while Urad will be same or lower than 2019-20 production. As of now, Tur crop prospects seems to be good, but in next 3-4 months crops will go through important yield determining phases like flowering, Pod filling and Maturing.”
Mr. Nitin Kalantri, Chief Executive Officer of Kalantry Food Products, speaking about Tur prospects said, “With around 1.50 lakh tons of carryover stock from last year with the trade, there is some shortage but NAFED is holding around eight lakh tonnes which once released will release the pressure heading into the festive season as well as keep the prices stable. The new Tur crop is expected to arrive in the markets around 15 November and with an expected production of around 4 million tons plus the carryover stocks and the stocks held by NAFED, we are in a comfortable position to meet the domestic demand at stable prices.
Mr. B Krishnamurthy, Managing Director of Four-P International speaking about the situation of Urad said, “Despite a 40,000 Ha increase in sowing, but the excessive rains in August have damaged standing urad crops across many states such as Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, and Karnataka leading to flooding and crop infestations which will pull down the yield of Urad. According to unconfirmed and tentative trade estimates the final production will probably around the same as 2019-20 i.e. around 1.30 to 1.40 million tons. If the arrival in the mandis of different states happens as expected, between 10th September to 15th October in good quantities, then prices will be soft.”
Mr. Anish Goyal, Director at AgroPure Capital Foods speaking about the situation for Moong said, “The sowing of Kharif has increased by a 5 Lakh Ha vis-à-vis last year which was due to a variety of reasons including increased MSP, excellent monsoon, good prices in the market, etc. However, due to excessive rains in late-August and early September, there have been disease infestations in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka and this could impact the final yield of Moong. I expect the production which should be in the 1.8 to 2.5 million tons, but we do not expect any major price fluctuations in the near future as the moong market scenario will be stable as availability will be good. According to me, there will not be any shortage throughout the year, or at least, the next 8-9 months, there should be stability in the market, and I think prices should remain as they are.”