Groundnut farmers in 18 districts queued up in large numbers as the Gujarat government began registration of cultivators to procure their produce at minimum support price (MSP) for Kharif marketing season 2019-20, on Tuesday.
Officers of the Gujarat State Civil Supplies Corporation Limited (GSCSCL) said that by 7.43 pm on Tuesday, 68,051 farmers got themselves registered for selling their oilseed crop to the government. The number was the highest in Gir Somnath district with 11,479 farmers getting registered. It was followed by Junagdh with 8,871 registrations, Jamnagar 8,022 and Rajkot 7,422. Barring districts of central and south Gujarat, farmers in 18 districts of Saurashtra, Kutch and North Gujarat region turned up at agriculture produce market committees (AMPCs) to register their names.
The state government announced that the Central government would start procuring groundnut from farmers at MSP of Rs1,018 per 20 kg of groundnut with shell from November 1. GSCSCL is the agency entrusted with procurement this year.
“Besides APMCs, farmers can approach village computer entrepreneurs (VCE) for registration, which will done free of cost. Rajkot collector has instructed VCEs to take up this task. Therefore, we are not expecting long queues at registration centres this year,” Prakash Sakhiya, district supply manager of Rajkot, told The Indian Express.
Sakhiya further said that many farmers didn’t know that they can register at their village also on the first day and therefore, there were queues at registration centres on APMC yards on Tuesday. “We expect there will be no queues from Thursday as farmers may use facilities in their villages,” the DSM said adding registration would continue till the end of this month.
After farmers produce documents of their land-holding, details of crop sown and their bank details, GSCSCL enters their details in an online system created by the National Informatics Centre. Farmers are given a registration slip, bearing their unique registration number. The GSCSCL then sends SMSes to farmers in turn to bring their produce to procurement centres once the procurement process formally begins.
Gujarat is the largest groundnut producer in the country. To help farmers get remunerative prices of the oilseed crop, the Central government has been intervening in the market every year since 2016 by making procurement of groundnut directly from farmers.
This Kharif season, farmers have sown groundnut in 15.52 lakh hectares. The acreage makes groundnut the second largest crop of Gujarat after cotton. The oilseed is mainly grown in Saurashtra and in some parts of Kutch and north Gujarat. While farmers are complaining about excessive rain this year, their crop will be ready for harvest in next couple of days.