The procurement operations for Groundnut crop by the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd (Nafed) under the Price Support Scheme (PSS) were suspended in Gujarat after the agencies made a record purchases of 8 lakh tonnes of the oilseed at the support price of Rs 4,500 per quintal.
However, considering a bumper crop of about 32 lakh tonnes in the last kharif season, the Gujarat government has asked Center to approve additional procurement of 4 lakh tonnes, to which the Union Agriculture Ministry has raised queries about the State’s preparedness for storage of the massive volumes of the oil seed in a scientific manner.
According to State government data, procurement agencies have already purchased a record quantity of Groundnut worth over Rs 3,500 crore and is stored at warehouses both - State-owned and private ones.
Nafed sources informed that the procurement operations were completely stopped across Gujarat as “we reached our targeted volume of 8 lakh tonnes within the 3-month timeline.”
Nafed may seek support from the Central Warehousing Corporation (CWC) for certification of the warehouses on the scientific basis.
“We have assured the Centre that adequate scientific storage facilities will be arranged. If the godowns of our own State Warehousing Corporation goes out of space, we will have private warehouses on lease to accommodate the additional quantity. The approval for additional procurement of 4 lt is likely at anytime soon,” the state agricultural department said.