The Centre on Thursday gave conditional approval to procure additional 1 lakh tonne groundnut to the Gujarat government. The National Agriculture Cooperative Marketing Federation (Nafed) will have to complete this additional procurement by February 10.
The Centre on Thursday gave conditional approval to procure additional 1 lakh tonne groundnut to the Gujarat government. The National Agriculture Cooperative Marketing Federation (Nafed) will have to complete this additional procurement by February 10. To support the farmers against falling prices, the central government has started groundnut procurement after Diwali, on request of the Gujarat government, through the Nafed. Earlier this week, Nafed had closed all the procurement centres as it has achieved given target of eight lakh tonnes. “On our request to procure 4 lakh tonnes more groundnut from the state, government of India has approved to procure 1 lakh tonne with some conditions regarding storage facilities. The Centre also assured us to increase the procurement limit depending on availability of warehouses in the state,” said R C Faldu, agricultural minister of Gujarat. This year, groundnut production is expected to touch a record high of 3.2 million tonnes in Gujarat. For the farmers’ interest, the Gujarat government had asked the central government to procure one million tonne groundnut from the state. Against it, the Centre has given approval of 8 lakh tonnes to Nafed. The federation had setup over 200 procurement centers across Gujarat. According to the Nafed, the central government has given three conditions to the Gujarat government. These conditions are related to storage and disposal of the procurement stocks and to begin fresh procurement the state government will have to give undertaking.
Nafed official said, “As per the conditions, the state government have to store groundnut in scientific godowns and if it founds at any stage that goods are not store in proper way than any losses occurs will have to bear by the state government. Moreover, the state need to give undertaking that some parts of the procurement will be used in various government scheme including mid day meal and public distribution system.”
So far, Nafed had procured 8 lakh tonnes of groundnut from Gujarat at the rate of Rs 4,500 per quintal. The four State-level procurement agencies Gujarat Cooperative Oilseeds Growers’ Federation (Grofed), Gujarat State Cooperative Marketing Federation Ltd (Gujcomasol), Gujarat State Co-Operative Cotton Federation Limited (GujCot) and Banas Dairy through their taluka-level farmer cooperatives appointed to procure groundnut on behalf of Nafed have collectively groundnut worth Rs 3,500 crore in three months. Last year, Nafed had procured about 2.25 lakh tonnes from the state.
According to the agriculture department of Gujarat official, the state has assured to manage scientific storage facilities and if require the state will take space on lease from private warehouses. Gujarat State Warehousing Corporation (GSWC) has invited bid from private warehouses with storage capacity of over 10,000 square foots. Nafed may seek support from the Central Warehousing Corporation (CWC) for certification of the warehouses on the scientific basis.