The Gujarat government is all set to commence groundnut procurement this week onwards at the rate of Rs 900 per 20 kg from the farmers. The procurement will take place through centres of the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (Nafed), Gujarat Cooperative Oilseeds Growers’ Federation (Grofed) and Gujcomasol. The state government has allotted about Rs 500 crore for this purpose. “For the benefit of the farmers, we decided to buy groundnut after Diwali this year at the rate of Rs 900 per 20 kg. We have not set any limits and procurement will continue during this season and farmers can sell groundnut to the government whenever they want during the year,” said Chiman Sapariya, agriculture minister of Gujarat. All these nodal agencies for procurement have prepared their centres mainly in Saurashtra region of the state. There are 106 procurement centres across Gujarat.
“Our centres are ready to procure groundnut from Wednesday. Most of the procurement will be done from Saurashtra zone as it is a major groundnut producing region in Gujarat. The state government has allowed to buy maximum 2,500 kg per farmer a day,” said Piyush Vadera, chief executive of Gujcomasol. As per the data of agriculture department of Gujarat, total area under groundnut production has decreased to 1.6 million hectares this year from 1.64 million hectares last year. The state government has also predicted higher production of groundnut at 3.5 million tonne in its first advance estimate for the year 2017-18. According to the Solvent Extractors’ Association of India (SEA), the state is expected to harvest 3.14 million tonne during kharif season 2017-18. Last year it was 2.94 million tonne.
Meanwhile, Gujarat deputy chief minister Nitin Patel has announced that GST of 18% on drip irrigation system and sprinkler will be paid by the government. This will cost about Rs 78 crore a year. Patel said, “We have waived 18% GST on drip and sprinkler irrigation system for farmers and this tax will be paid by Gujarat Green Revolution Company. This will put additional burden of about Rs 78 crore on the state treasury.”