Despite flooding, Gujarat may see record kharif groundnut output

Kharif crop
Despite flooding in some regions, Gujarat should have a record kharif groundnut production of 3.14 million tonnes, from 2.94 mt in last year's season, according to the Solvent Extractors' Association of India's (SEA)'s survey. Sowing had marginally decreased to 1.6 mn hectares, from 1.64 mn ha last year.

"Rainfall was satisfactory and timely and this has resulted in the bumper crop," said B V Mehta, executive director of SEA. This level of output would mean a yield of 1,960 kg a ha, against 1,790 kg/ha last year.

The findings come from a three-day field survey by the SEA Oilseed Crop Estimate Committee, during October 13-15 in 15 districts of Saurashtra, Kutch and north Gujarat. The team met farmers, traders, oil millers and exporters alike to assess sowing, yield and production.

In terms of region, Rajkot is expected to see the highest groundnut production of around 525,000 tonnes, followed by Junagadh (485,000 tonnes) and Devbhoomi Dwarka (390,000 tonnes). Saurashtra and north Gujarat had seen some loss of kharif sowing due to incessant rain and flooding.

The state government has also raised its minimum support price (MSP) for the crop. And, decided to buy a limited amount at the MSP of Rs 900 per 20 kg against the current market price of Rs 750-800 per 20 kg; a sum of Rs 500 crore has been allotted for this.

"This may lead to reserved selling by farmers in the open market for the time being," said Mehta.

The SEA report says there is also stock with the central government's Nafed of 110,000 tonnes, besides at least 50,000 tonnes with farmers and traders in Gujarat.

Local production of groundnut oil will be higher, due to better availability of groundnut seed for crushing.

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