The Gujarat government has asked all the districts to increase the storage capacity for groundnut in a bid to restart the procurement process.
The Gujarat government has asked all the districts to increase the storage capacity for groundnut in a bid to restart the procurement process. After Diwali this year, the state government had begun procurement of the crop at the rate of Rs 900 per 20 kg to protect the farmers against the fall in prices due to bumper production of groundnut. However, buying was stopped by the various agencies due to storage crisis. Deputy chief minister of Gujarat Nitin Patel had conducted a special meeting on the issue and it was decided to increase the storage capacity for groundnut in the state. “We have reviewed the storage problem with chief secretary J N Singh and the top officials of the agriculture department. To increase the capacity, we have directed districts collectors to provide new godowns for groundnut,” said Patel. The state government has procured about 5.77 lakh tonne groundnut and paid about Rs 2,598 crore to the farmers so far. Last year, the total procurement stood at about 2 lakh tonne. “To provide remunerative price to the farmers in view of the bumper groundnut production of over 3.5 million tonne this year, we have requested the central government to procure at the minimum support price (MSP) which was accepted by the Centre. We started procurement from Labh Pacham. So far, through 260 cooperatives, the state has procured about 5.77 lakh tonne of groundnut worth Rs 2,598 crore,” Patel said. According to the agriculture department officials, Gujarat government will continue groundnut procurement till March 2018 during which it plans to buy about 8 lakh tonne of groundnut at the rate of MSP. Five different agencies, including Gujarat State Co-operative Cotton Federation Limited (Gujcot), Gujarat State Cooperative Marketing Federation Limited (Gujcomasol), Banas Dairy, Sabar Dairy and Gujpro Agribusiness Consortium Producer Company are engaged in groundnut buying from farmers. An official said, “It has taken some time to transfer the stock from procurement centers to godowns therefore we put procurement on hold for sometime. Procurement will be continue.”