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Gujarat is the largest producing State of groundnut and accounts for about a third of the country’s output. Production for the past two seasons has been bumper, which resulted into a massive procurement activity by State and Central agencies to protect farmers from losses.

In groundnut crop, with increased sowing at 15.52 lakh hectares this kharif season, which is about 85,000 hectares more than in the previous year farmers anticipate a higher output.

Groundnut oil crushers’ body, Saurashtra Oil Mills Association (SOMA), has estimated the groundnut crop in Gujarat at 30.19 lakh tonnes for the current kharif season 2019-20, a tad lower than the State government’s first advance estimate of 32 lakh tonnes with an  estimated yield of about 766 kg per acre According to SOMA, the districts of Junagadh, Rajkot, Gir Somnath and Devbhumi Dwarka, besides other districts in the region will see record groundnut crop this year. This will lead to increased oil production.

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Farmers have already started bringing harvested groundnut crop in huge quantities to the market yards. This has impacted the market prices, which fell to as low as Rs 3,500 to Rs 4,750 in several markets in Gujarat, much lower than the Minimum Support Price (MSP) of Rs 5,090 a quintal.

SOMA plans to make a representation to the government to restrict edible oil imports, especially of palm oil, to support domestic crushing activity and oilseed farmers which will result in increased consumption of domestically produced oils, leading to better price realisation for oilseed farmers.

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Gujarat government has already started groundnut procurement from November 1, 2019. The State civil supplies corporation is conducting procurement of groundnut from 122 centres across the State, which will continue till January 30, 2020.

But due to excess rainfall in the late monsoon season which led to water logging in many fields, the output may fall 29.2 percent in the top producing western state of Gujarat.

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