Oil Millers ask focus to be shifted on groundnut meal exports to get rid of groundnut stocks in Gujarat

After NAFED found it difficult to sell off the groundnut heaps to millers, the latter are suggesting export of groundnut meal instead, a Hindu Business Line report confirms.

Millers are suggesting to push groundnut meal exports, a by-product of groundnut after oil has been extracted from it.  It is considered a rich source of protein for cattle feed and also for human consumption.  For about a decade, groundnut meal export was not a focus area as relatively small quantity that was sufficient for the domestic market.

However, oil millers believe that encouraging exports of groundnut meal with incentives along the lines given to other oilmeal will help dispose the heaps of groundnut stored in Gujarat’s warehouses.

For the fiscal year 2017-18, India exported soybean meal worth 11.87 lakh tonnes (lt), while rapeseed meal exports stood at 6.63 lt, and groundnut meal at 6,841 tonnes. The other oilmeals such as ricebran extraction exports stood at 5.94 lt, and castor seed meal 5.72 lt.

“Now we are sitting on about 20 lt of groundnut stocks. Considering 50 per cent oil meal output, we are looking at about 10 lt of meal . This can only be consumed if the exports are incentivised as is the case with other oilseed meal,” according to Samir Shah, President, Saurashtra Oil Mills Association (SOMA).

SOMA has also raised their demand with the Union Commerce Ministry for groundnut meal export incentives. There is a good demand of high-protein meal in the European and other Western markets.

Gujarat, the largest producer of the oilseed, witnessed bumper groundnut crop at 32 lakh tonnes for kharif 2017 as against 29 lakh tonnes in the previous season. Following a sharp drop in the prices due to excess production, NAFED produced about 8.3 lakh tonnes under the price support scheme (PSS) which it was not able to dispose off to oil millers in real time, resulting in stock piling.

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