As the Gujarat government has failed to arrange warehouses and fulfill the conditions set by the central government for additional procurement of groundnut, Nafed has not begun fresh procurement in the state.
As the Gujarat government has failed to arrange warehouses and fulfill the conditions set by the central government for additional procurement of groundnut, Nafed has not begun fresh procurement in the state. As a result, prices of the commodity fell by 21% below the minimum support price (MSP). The Gujarat government had urged the Centre to procure additional groundnut for the benefit of the farmers in January this year, which the central government had accepted with conditions and directed Nafed to procure 1 lakh tonne of groundnut from Gujarat. Earlier, Nafed had to complete this additional procurement by February 10 but as the state’s preparation was not enough, the time limit has been removed. “We are ready to buy groundnut from farmers but terms and conditions fixed by central government have not fulfilled yet by the Gujarat government. Farmers are waiting but warehouses are not there to store additional quantity of groundnut in Gujarat. The Centre has allowed us to procure 1 lakh tonne of groundnut from Gujarat. In this condition, we are unable to purchase,” said VR Boda, chairman of Nafed.
Currently, groundnut prices are ruling at Rs 3,500 per quintal, which is 21% below the MSP price. As the government stopped the procurement, arrivals at the mandis or APLCs have increased. On the other hand, demand is average, which has mainly pressurised the prices. Daily arrival in Gujarat has increased to 33,000-35,000 bags from 25,000-27,000 bags in a month.
A Rajkot-based commission agent said, “After procurement stopped by the government, farmers are now coming to sell their groundnut at the mandis, which increases the supply. As result, prices of the commodity have fallen 21% below MSP. Farmers want higher price but as the demand is average, prices may not increase in the near future.”
Till mid-January, Nafed had procured 8 lakh tonne of groundnut from Gujarat at the rate of Rs 4,500 (Rs 4,450 MSP and Rs 50 bonus by Gujarat government) per quintal. The four state-level procurement agencies, Gujarat Cooperative Oilseeds Growers’ Federation (Grofed), Gujarat State Cooperative Marketing Federation (Gujcomasol), Gujarat State Co-Operative Cotton Federation (GujCot) and Banas Dairy, through their taluka-level farmer cooperatives, appointed to procure groundnut on behalf of Nafed, have collectively groundnut worth `3,500 crore in three months.