October 23, 2021 12:33:52 am
As the Kharif harvesting season is at its peak, yards of major agricultural produce market committees (APMCs) in Saurashtra are flooded with groundnut, forcing APMCs to regulate arrivals of this crop even as prices remain firm.
Gondal and Rajkot APMCs, the two biggest controlled-wholesale markets of groundnut, started regulating arrivals of the oilseed this week as increasing numbers of farmers carted their harvest to the market, leading to space constraints. On Wednesday, Gondal APMC recorded the arrival of 23,000 quintals of groundnut, while on Thursday, Rajkot APMC recorded similar volumes.
“Till last week, the daily arrivals were manageable and we were able to auction whatever farmers brought to the market… But now, the arrivals have picked up. Our yard recorded arrivals of 23,000 quintals of groundnut on Wednesday and traders were not able to purchase it in a single day. We had no other option but to regulate the arrivals,” said Tarun Pachani, secretary of Gondal APMC. “We have decided to allow farmers to unload their groundnut by Thursday midnight and by 6 pm, there is a two-kilometre queue of vehicles loaded with groundnut outside our yard,” he added.
In Rajkot, the arrivals may take at least two more days to be auctioned, Rajkot APMC secretary Babulal Tejani said.
“This year, groundnut oil prices are at very high and any variation in them on a daily basis has a direct bearing on the quantity of groundnut purchased from the APMC yard. If the groundnut oil price goes even marginally up, traders purchase marginally higher quantities,” said Tejani.
Gujarat accounts for more than half of groundnut production of India with Saurashtra region accounting for more than 60 per cent of the state’s production. Farmers had sown groundnut in 19.09 lakh hectare in Kharif season 2021.
The state government’s First Advanced Estimate has projected groundnut production in the state to 39.94 lakh tonnes while the Solvent Extractors Association (SEA) has pegged the production to 38.54 lakh tonnes.
Despite estimates of a bumper harvest and farmers flooding APMCs with their groundnut early in the marketing season, prices have remained firm. The modal price — the rate at which majority of groundnut was sold, in both APMCs has been higher than minimum support price (MSP) of Rs 5,550 per quintal fixed by the Central government.
“Prices are firm as there is demand, thanks to higher groundnut oil prices and oil millers having very limited stock,” said Atul Kamani, former president of Rajkot APMC Commission Agents Association and a member of board of directors of Rajkot APMC.
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