Agri Business

Groundnut procurement: Gujarat farmers rush to register online

Rutam Vora Ahmedabad | Updated on November 01, 2018 Published on November 01, 2018

y   -  PTI

There was a massive rush for online registration of groundnut procurement in Gujarat on Thursday. According to the State government, a total of 7,413 farmers registered themselves online. These farmers have a combined total of 8,643 hectares of area under groundnut.

Last month, the Gujarat government had announced procurement of the oilseed at minimum support prices (MSP) from November 15. The online registration of farmers started on November 1. According to State agriculture minister RC Faldu: “Within two hours of opening of the online registration, we saw as many as 4,065 farmers registering themselves for the procurement. Their total area under groundnut was 4,7089 hectares. While the total crop is expected to be about 26.92 lakh tonnes, the procurement operations will be required to provide adequate prices to the farmers.”

The online registration window will be open for one month. The government will begin procurement of groundnut from November 15 from about 122 centres. Last year, around the same time, groundnut procurement was announced and State agencies under the nodal procurement agency Nafed had procured over 8 lakh tonnes of groundnut from the crop of over 32 lakh tonnes.

Even as the government has not set any target for procurement, standard procurement practices suggest up to 25 per cent of the crop can be procured at MSP level. At the current estimate of about 27 lakh tonnes of groundnut in Gujarat, the procurement is likely to be about 6-7 lakh tonnes.

However, the State government has decided to initiate groundnut procurement by its own agencies this year, through the Civil Supplies Department. This has raised questions about the trust deficit with the Central agency, Nafed.

The decision comes in the wake of the controversial procurement happened last year at several centres, leading to malpractices. “This year we have ensured a transparent procurement process. All the preparations are completed for swift operations and procurement will be conducted with CCTV monitoring,” said Faldu.

The current market prices are already below MSP as arrivals have started rising. Groundnut prices on Thursday ranged between ₹4,500-4,800 per quintal, which is about ₹200-500 lower than the MSP of ₹5000 (including bonus), at which the State government is aiming to procure.

As arrivals mount, the prices may get hammered further. However, owing to deficient rains and climatic adversity, the groundnut crop may decline by 50 per cent to about 15.95 lakh tonnes as against 31.45 lakh tonnes last year, the groundnut crop estimates released by the Solvent Extractors Association of India (SEA), revealed.

Groundnut acreage in the State for the year 2018-19 was recorded at 14.67 lakh hectares, down 8 per cent from last year.

Published on November 01, 2018
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor