Agri Business

SOMA puts Gujarat’s groundnut crop at 30 lakh tonnes for 2019-20

Rutam Vora Ahmedabad | Updated on October 21, 2019 Published on October 21, 2019

Groundnut oil crushers’ body seeks restrictions on edible oil imports to bring crushing business out of slowdown

Groundnut oil crushers’ body, Saurashtra Oil Mills Association (SOMA), has estimated the groundnut crop in Gujarat at 30.19 lakh tonnes for the current kharif season 2019-20, a tad lower than the State government’s first advance estimate of 32 lakh tonnes.

Last year, the output estimate of about 15 lakh tonnes.

“Good monsoon has helped the groundnut crop and we are estimating 30 lakh tonnes of production in the State. The entire Saurashtra region has witnessed good widespread rains. The districts of Junagadh, Rajkot, Gir Somnath and Devbhumi Dwarka, besides other districts in the region, will see record groundnut crop this year,” said Sameer Shah, President, SOM.

The groundnut cultivation is reported over an area of 15.52 lakh hectares for kharif 2019, which is about 85,000 hectares more than in the previous year. SOMA estimates yield of about 766 kg per acre. With several areas receiving excess rains, there was fear of damage to the groundnut crop due to water-logging in the fields.

Farmers have already started bringing harvested groundnut crop in huge quantities to the market yards. This has impacted the market prices, which fell to as low as Rs 3,500 to Rs 4,750 in several markets in Gujarat, much lower than the Minimum Support Price (MSP) of Rs 5,090 a quintal.

Shah further added that considering the record crop, there will be increased crushing activity as farmers have already started bringing their crop to the markets. This will lead to increased oil production.

“We are planning to make a representation to the government to restrict edible oil imports, especially of palm oil, to support domestic crushing activity and oilseed farmers. If quantitative restrictions are placed on edible oil imports, it will result in increased consumption of domestically produced oils, leading to better price realisation for oilseed farmers,” Shah said, adding that it will also help the crushing units utilise their capacities better and fight the slowdown situation.

However, the Gujarat government has already announced the groundnut procurement schedule from November 1, 2019. The State civil supplies corporation will conduct procurement of groundnut from 122 centres across the State.

Over 4.4 lakh farmers have already registered to participate in the procurement activity, which will continue till January 30, 2020.

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Published on October 21, 2019
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