Concerned over crash in groundnut prices below the minimum support price (MSP), Karnataka Agriculture Minister Byre Gowda today demanded that the central government start procurement of the commodity to protect farmers' interest.
The issue was discussed in detail at a meeting with Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh, who has promised to look into the matter.
"Groundnut crop is very good in the state. As a result, prices have fallen below the minimum support price. We have asked the Centre to start the procurement," Gowda told PTI after meeting the Union minister.
The Centre has been asked to intervene early and initiate groundnut procurement under the Price Support Scheme (PSS), he said.
Groundnut prices at some of the major mandis in the state are ruling at Rs 3,264 per quintal, which is below the MSP of Rs 4,450 per quintal, he pointed out.
"The rate of groundnut is expected to fall further below the present rate during the coming season leading to farmers resorting to distress sale," the Karnataka government said in a representation made to the Centre.
Harvesting of the kharif groundnut crop is in full swing in major growing areas -- Gadag, Bagalkot, Bellary, Chitradurga, Davanagere, Raichur, Tumkur and Koppal, it said.
Groundnut crop is one of the major oilseed crops of Karnataka. It is grown in 4 lakh hectares and the production in the kharif season of 2017-18 is expected to be 2.40 lakh tonnes, it added.
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