More than 250 farmers sold their groundnut to the Central government as the procurement of the oilseed by the Central government at minimum support price (MSP) started on Monday at 79 procurement centres across Gujarat for the Kharif season 2020-’21. Meanwhile, the groundnut of 16 farmers was rejected at the procurement centre due to high moisture content and foreign matters being higher than prescribed norms, as per state government officials.
Officers of the Gujarat State Civil Supplies Corporation Limited (GSCSCL), an undertaking of the Gujarat government, said that as many as 267 farmers had sold their groundnut at the procurement centers by 7 pm on Monday. They added that 79 procurement centres have been opened in the state to procure groundnut from farmers. Of these, 57 centres have been opened in 11 districts of Saurashtra region, the groundnut bowl of the state.
On the opening day of the procurement operations, the GSCSCL, which has been appointed state-level agency (SLA) by the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Limited (NAFED), had sent SMS alerts to 2,278 farmers asking them to bring their groundnut to procurement centres. However, the response rate was low and only 470 quintal of groundnut brought by 267 farmers was procured till Monday evening.
Meanwhile, the groundnut of 16 farmers was rejected. “The groundnut of these farmers did not meet the fair average quality (FAQ) norms. It was rejected mainly due to high moisture content and foreign matters,” said an officer of the GSCSCL.
Gujarat is the largest groundnut producer of the country and farmers had sown the oilseed in record 20.72 lakh hectare in the Kharif season this year. The First Advance Estimate has pegged the groundnut production in the state at 54.64 lakh tonnes (lt), but the Solvent Extractors Association of India, a chamber of edible oil industry of the country, has pegged it at 37 lt.
The government has increased the MSP of the oilseed to Rs 5,275 per quintal, higher than Rs 5,090 last Kharif season. The Central government has been procuring groundnut from farmers of Gujarat for the past five years under its price support scheme (PSS) in order to ensure that farmers get remunerative price for their produce. This year, 4.70 lakh farmers are registered with the government to sell their groundnut at MSP.
Last year, the Central government had procured 4.70 lt groundnut from the state and the state government has estimated that a similar amount of the oilseed would be procured during this Kharif marketing season.
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