With bumper crop and polls ahead, Gujarat begins groundnut procurement

October 26th, 2017 | Esther Parimala | Tags:

Oct 25, 2017

Amid record groundnut production estimates, State agencies are set to begin groundnut procurement from Wednesday at about 110 procurement centres across Gujarat, the largest producer of the oilseed.

This comes ahead of the polls and a day after the State announced a bonus of Rs.500 a quintal over and above the MSP for cotton farmers.

Jump in output

The State government has estimated a bumper crop of the oilseed this kharif season at about 32 lakh tonnes (lt) against last year’s 29 lt. The crop estimate released by the Solvent Extractors’ Association of India (SEA), puts Gujarat’s groundnut production at 31.4 lt — up from 29.4 lt.

The State has witnessed 100 per cent rainfall this year. As a result, there was robust sowing of kharif crops such as groundnut, urad, tur and cotton. In the situation of a higher crop, farmers don’t have to incur a loss due to lower prices. The State government has decided to procure groundnut at Rs900 per 20 kg from 106 centres after Diwali, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani had stated last month.

The decision will put an additional financial burden of Rs500 crore on the State exchequer.

With the anticipation of a bumper groundnut crop pulling down market prices, the government had announced procurement of the oilseed at Rs.900 per maund of 20 kg (Rs4,500/quintal) against the prevailing market price of Rs650. Since the announcement, however, prices have jumped to around Rs750-900 in select markets.

Online registration

The procurement will happen through Nafed, Gujarat Cooperative Oilseeds Growers’ Federation Ltd (Grofed) and Gujcomasol.

According to a source in Gujcomasol, the procurement will begin from 110 centres across the State. The process of farmers’ registration will begin from tomorrow. And the procurement will start in a day or two.

The registration of farmers will happen online and farmers will be informed through an SMS to avoid involvement of middlemen .

Even if the State has not set any targets for procurement, it is learnt that Nafed aims to procure about 3.2 lakh tonnes of groundnut. Last year, the Central procurement agency had bought 2.1 lakh tonnes of the oilseed.

The maximum quantity a farmer can sell at the procurement price is fixed at 2,009 kg/hectare, which is close to the average yield estimated in the State.

As per the State agriculture department data, groundnut has been sown on about 16.15 lakh hectares, up 16 per cent from the normal sowing of 13.87 lakh hectares.

Source: The Hindu Business Line

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