Gram supply to MSP begins in the state
AGRICULTURE MINISTER Raghavji Patel launched central government operations to procure gram (chana) at the minimum support price (MSP) of Rs 5,230 per quintal from Rajkot on Tuesday. However, even as procurement began in 69 centers across the state, farmer participation was low on groundbreaking day.
At a reception held at a supply center in the former Agricultural Commodities Market Committee (APMC) yard in Rajkot, Patel launched the procurement drive under the Price Support Scheme (PSS) of the Center. Simultaneously, Parshottam Rupala, the Union Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairy also inaugurated the gram supply campaign at Dhari in Amreli district in the presence of Dileep Sanghani, Chairman of Gujarat State Co-operative Marketing Federation Limited (Gujcomasol), the main state co-operative marketing body.
“Opening the doors of prosperity to farmers by doubling their income is a firm resolve of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Farmers’ cooperation is imperative to lead the country on the path to prosperity,” the minister said.
As many as 3.28 lakh farmers have registered to sell their gram at the MSP Center during the Kharif marketing season of 2022-23. The Center procures through the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of Indian Limited (Nafed), headquartered in Delhi, the country’s apex cooperative marketing body. Nafed, in turn, has Gujcomasol – a federation of cooperative societies and farmers’ selling and buying cooperative unions – as the state-level agency (SLA) for managing gram supply operations PSS in Gujarat.
Sanghani said there was low turnout from farmers on the first day as crops are not ready yet. “Some are still in the middle of the harvest and therefore cannot transport their gram to the supply center. Therefore, we have written to the government to carry out the supply operations for four months instead of the usual three months”, Sanghani said.
“Nafed has approved a total of 187 Gram Supply Centers across the state. On the day of the inauguration, 69 centers became operational when farmers showed up with their products. At others, no peasant came with his harvest. But as word spreads that supply has started, farmers will start transporting their gram to supply centers and we will operationalize other centers in a phased manner,” Patel later told The Indian Express.
Incidentally, Gujarat State Civil Supplies Corporation Limited (GSCSCL) has been running supply operations for most commodities since 2019 after five godowns where groundnut PSS was stored caught fire in 2018. Congress then alleged that it there was corruption in the purchases and that the godowns were set on fire to destroy evidence.
However, this year Nafed chose Gujcomasol as the SLA for the state this year. “GSCSCL expressed inability to manage gram supply operations citing lack of staff. Therefore, Nafed has chosen Gujcomasol for this task this year,” Patel said, adding that supply operations will continue until the end of May.
Gujcomasol had also led gram supply operations on behalf of Nafed after GSCSCL pulled out in 2020 due to the threat of Covid-19.
Gram area in the current FY Rabi season hit an all-time high in Gujarat at 11.32 lakh hectare (lh), a 25% increase from the 8.16 lh recorded in the season corresponding from 2020-21. It is about 67% higher than the average gram area of 4.66 lakh recorded in the previous three seasons.
The highest area was reported in Saurashtra, the agrarian region where MSP supply is a politically sensitive issue, especially in an election year. The second advance estimate released by the state government last month pegged the gram supply at 24.90 lakh tonnes (lt), nearly a million tonnes higher than the 14.37 lt recorded in 2020 -21.
Under the PSS, the central government intervenes in the open market and physically buys crops if prices fall below the MSP. The Center typically buys 25 percent of a state’s total crop size directly from farmers so they can get remunerative prices in case rates stay low on the open market.
Patel said the central government had already approved the purchase of 4.65 liters of gram from Gujarat. “Our estimates are that the final crop size will be over 24.90lt and therefore we have requested the central government to increase Gujarat’s PSS supply quota to 6.25lt,” the minister said. , adding, “Gram prices have already appreciated by around Rs 250 per quintal in the open market over the past two days. large scale.
On Tuesday, prices per gram at Rajkot APMC remained within the range of Rs 4,400 to Rs 4,530.