India’s NAFED finds hard to sell Gujarat groundnut stockpile bought at MSP

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The National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED) is finding it difficult to sell groundnut stocks procured from farmers at minimum support prices (MSP) on behalf of the Gujarat government to oil millers and traders due to quality and price issues.

At present, NAFED is selling the groundnut in Gujarat at Rs 3,500-3,600 per quintal. The agency had procured over 8 lakh tonnes of groundnut from Gujarat at MSP of Rs 4,450. With the state government announcing a bonus of Rs 50 per quintal, the procurement price increased to Rs 4,500 per quintal.

NAFED has started selling the stocks from April this year, but so far only 1,300 tonne from 2017-18 procurement have been sold. According to sources in NAFED, traders and millers prefer to buy 2016-17 stock as its price is lower than new stock.

NAFED will soon invite price bids from groundnut processing units and oil mills for processing and crushing. Tenders will be announced most probably in next week. According to NAFED sources, looking at the current scenario, it will take over a year to off-load the entire stock. NAFED is under pressure from the state and the central governments to ramp up its sale operations.

The Financial Express newspaper reported that recently the Gujarat government and Nafed held a meeting with the traders and oil millers to discuss the disposal of groundnut stock.

Shekhar Ghosh is consulting editor, Indoasiancommodities.com. He has edited and written for publications like Business India, Business Standard, Business Today, Outlook and many other international publications. He can be reached at shekhar.ghosh@indoasiancommodities.in.

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