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Groundnut farmers protest over closed procurement centres

Peanut Market News March 08, 2018

Groundnut farmers protest over closed procurement centres

Farmers in Devbhoomi Dwarka held protest outside the district collector's office on Wednesday over closed groundnut procurement centres that has left them in a lurch.

They alleged that though the state government had decided to procure 1 lakh tonne additional groundnut at minimum support price (MSP) of Rs 900 per 20kg, not a single procurement centre of the 10 allotted ones in Dwarka were open.

Farmers on Wednesday brought tractor loads of unsold groundnut to the collector’s office and shouted slogans against the government. They also complained that they were getting misleading messages on their mobile phones from procurement centres.

Government had suspended groundnut procurement at MSP on January 19 after reports of rampant malpractices. However, government resumed procurement with new guidelines from February 5. But farmers in Devbhoomi Dwarka are upset as none of 10 procurement centres in the district were operational. Most farmers who had received tokens before procurement was suspended did not receive the message to come to sell their produce at MSP. According to sources, stock of nearly 1,800 farmers is lying at Bhatiya Market Yard of Dwarka.

Palabhai Ambalia, president of Dwarka Khedut Hitrakshak Samiti, said, “A farmer gets message one day to sell his stock at Bhanvad, but the second day gets message to sell his stock at Bhatia or Khambhaliya. A farmer can’t move with stock from centre to centre.”

The farmers also submitted a memorandum of their demands to the collector seeking payment to farmers whose groundnut was procured three-four months back. Nearly 500 farmers are still awaiting payment.

Devbhoomi Dwarka collector J R Dodiya said, “The procurement centres have problems with new set of guidelines. So they are not procuring from farmers. According to government guidelines, procurement centres have to immediately send the groundnut to Gandhidham warehouse while Khambhaliya AMPC was insisting to store it in their own warehouse. My office intervened and allowed Khambhaliya APMC to store the groundnut. From Thursday, procurement will start at Khambhaliya and farmers who have received the message to sell stock at other centres like Bhatia, Bhanvad and Kalyanpur will now be shifted to Khambhaliya.”

Source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/rajkot/groundnut-farmers-protest-over-closed-procurement-centres/articleshow/63208320.cms

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