New Delhi: The Centre today said it has already contracted import of 8,500 tonnes of pulses and the shipments are on the way.
It also said pulse procurement for buffer stock has touched 51,000 tonnes, surpassing the target set for this kharif season.
"Prices and availability of essential commodities were reviewed today. The meeting was informed that the import of 8,500 tonnes of dal ordered is already on the way," an official statement read.
The meeting, chaired by Consumer Affairs Secretary C Viswanath, also reviewed the buffer stock of pulses and tomato production situation, among others.
Senior officials of consumer affairs, agriculture and commerce ministries, FCI, MMTC and NAFED were present.
It was informed at the meeting that the government agencies have procured 51,000 tonnes of kharif pulses for the buffer stock as against the target of 50,000 tonnes.
"Now, they have been asked to start procurement of masoor, gram dal and other rabi pulses," the statement said.
For creating pulse buffer stock, the government has set a procurement target of 50,000 tonnes from kharif season and 1,00,000 tonnes from rabi season of the 2015-16 crop year.
Pulse procurement is being undertaken by state-owned Food Corporation of India (FCI), agri-cooperative Nafed and the Small Farmers' Agriculture-Business Consortium (SFAC).
The representative of the agriculture ministry said the area under oilseed production in 2015-16 rose 2.1 per cent and mustard output is expected to be higher by 6 lakh tonnes.
The meeting also reviewed production of tomato in the country and its price trends. Tomato output is also expected to increase by 11.6 per cent in 2015-16.
Efforts are being made to increase its cultivation in non-traditional areas by using advanced hybrid varieties, it added.
The government is importing pulses and creating buffer stock to ensure there is adequate supply in the domestic market and prices are in check.
Pulse prices are continuing to remain firm for the second straight year due to production concerns. Pulse output in 2015-16 crop year (July-June) is expected to be 17.33 million tonnes as against the demand of 22-23 million tonnes. The gap is being met through imports.