Agri Business

Groundnut will be the star of the show this kharif in Gujarat

Rutam Vora Ahmedabad | Updated on January 12, 2018 Published on June 07, 2017

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Pest attacks seen affecting cotton sowing; lower prices make pulses less attractive



The south-west monsoon will knock at the doors of Gujarat only next week, but the early sowing trends show farmers' preferences for groundnut over cotton and pulses.

According to farmer sources, the initial sowing has kicked off in parts of Gujarat, including Saurashtra, where early trends show a clear shift to groundnut from cotton and pulses. In 2016-17, Gujarat had witnessed groundnut sowing over about 16.4 lakh hectares, which was the highest in three years. “We expect cotton area to shrink somewhat and groundnut to gain this kharif season. Last year due to pest attacks and pink bollworm issues, farmers had faced losses. Also we see some reduction in pulses acreage, mainly tur,” said a senior Gujarat agriculture officer.

Cotton acreage in the State for kharif 2016-17 stood at 105 lakh hectares, the lowest in three years since 2014-15, which could go down further or hold its current level. “Cotton sowing may remain unaffected or decline. But groundnut sowing will surely increase as a large number of farmers have already opted for the oilseed in the early sowing in parts of Rajkot, Jamnagar and nearby districts,” said Ramesh Bhorania, a farmer from Rajkot. Farmers having access to water from nearby canals and dams have begun sowing and preferred groundnut over cotton.

Already, farmers have started rushing to purchase groundnut seeds ahead of the onset of the monsoon later this week or early next week.

“Since the last four days farmers have started rushing for seed purchases. Apart from Saurashtra, where we are seeing early sowing underway, groundnut sowing is progressing at a gradual pace in north Gujarat,” said Bhorania.

High output, low price

Notably, on the back of record sowing last year, groundnut production was among its highest levels in recent years, touching about 26 lakh tonnes, which pulled prices below the minimum support price (MSP) levels. Groundnut MSP has been fixed at ₹844 for 20 kg.

This March, the State government launched a procurement programme and bought 2.11 lakh tonnes worth ₹899 crore at the minimum support price.

Published on June 07, 2017
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