4 in 10 households surveyed already feeling pinch of rising Tur Dal prices
- ● 27% of households surveyed have reduced consumption
- ● 5% have stopped consumption
- ● 8% have switched to lower priced brands/ unbranded products
June 30, 2023, New Delhi: Wholesale price of Tur/Arhar dal is reported to have decreased slightly after the government imposed a stock limit on traders and processors on June 2 due to expected shortage for next few months but unfortunately for the consumers there is no easing of prices. Though the price monitoring cell of the Ministry of Consumer Affairs states that the average retail price in Delhi is INR 147/kg, in actual the price ranges between INR 167/kg for polished variety to INR 187/ kg for unpolished or organic Tur dal. This is the online price after discount. During the last 10 years, India’s production of pulses has gone up about 50%, from 18.3 million tonnes (mt) to 27.5 mt led mainly by the increase in production of Chana (chickpea) and moong (green gram). In the case of Tur (pigeon pea or red gram), though India is the largest producer, accounting for over 80% of production, it is also the biggest consumer. The demand and supply gap is met through imports.
On June 27th, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution announced that it has directed the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation (NAFED) and National Cooperative Consumers Federation (NCCF) to make supplies available from the government buffer stocks to eligible millers through online auction to bridge the supply gap till the arrival of imported tur dal to ease prices at the consumer end. The dal processing industry, meanwhile, expects tur prices to remain firm over the next three-four months because of supply shortage, which even the imports is not expected to fully bridge. According to media reports, ex-mill tur dal prices have increased by about 30% since January. Last week, prices of unprocessed whole tur crossed INR 100/kg, which is supposed to have led to the government imposing the stock limit on retailers, wholesalers, importers, and processors till October 2023. Trade experts are not sure if this will bring down wholesale or retail prices significantly. In the case of wholesale prices, it has risen from INR 8300/quintal in January 2022 to INR 10,600 in May 2023. In the case of retail prices, according to government data, from INR 100/ kg in January 2022, dal consumed across the country, has almost doubled in some states in the South.
Taking a note of the concerns voiced by consumers on rising prices, LocalCircles has conducted a survey to find out how the high price of Tur dal is impacting its consumption. The survey received over 14,000 responses from citizens located in 320 districts of India. 64% respondents were men while 36% respondents were women. 42% respondents were from tier 1, 33% from tier 2 and 25% respondents were from tier 3, 4 and rural districts.
27% of households surveyed have reduced consumption; 5% have stopped consumption of Tur/Arhar dal; 8% have switched to lower priced produce
The survey asked consumers “Price of Tur/Arhar dal has gone up by INR 40/kg or by 30% in the last 2 months. How is your household coping with the price increase?” This query received response from 14,118 households with 4 in 10 admitting feeling the pinch due to rise in prices leading to either reduced consumption, shifting to lower price brands or unbranded products or even stopping consumption of Tur dal. The data shows that while 27% of households surveyed have reduced consumption; 5% have stopped consumption and 8% have switched to lower priced brands/ unbranded products. However, 57% of households surveyed indicated that they have not reduced consumption and are paying more while 3% of respondents gave no clear response.
In summary, the fact that the survey shows that 32% of households surveyed have either reduced or stopped consumption of Tur dal is worrying unless they have switched over to some other dal, which in many cases is unthinkable when one is prone to enjoying only certain types of food. If that is the case, the government could consider subsidizing Tur dal so that people don’t give up on eating their favourite source of protein particularly in vegetarian households. If the monsoon doesn’t progress well and Tur sowing doesn’t pick up, the prices are bound to rise further. According to the Agriculture Ministry’s latest bulletin, so far acreage under Kharif sowing of Tur till June 26 is over 34% less than last agriculture year.
The survey received over 14,000 responses from citizens located in 320 districts of India. 64% respondents were men while 36% respondents were women. 42% respondents were from tier 1, 33% from tier 2 and 25% respondents were from tier 3, 4 and rural districts. The survey was conducted via LocalCircles platform and all participants were validated citizens who had to be registered with LocalCircles to participate in this survey.