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Traders call for nodal body that will bat for peanut consumption

Peanut Market News August 25, 2018

Traders call for nodal body that will bat for peanut consumption

As late rains help push up acreage of groundnut in Gujarat, the largest producing state, boosting the prospects of the oilseed crop, the trade has renewed its demand for the setting up of a peanut promotion council to encourage domestic consumption.

After last year’s bumper harvest of about 32 lakh tonnes, groundnut sowing in the current kharif season has been encouraging at around 14,65,438 hectares in Gujarat, covering about 90 per cent of the 16,20,300 hectares reported in the previous season.

At the all-India level, groundnut was planted on about 35.32 lakh hectares as on August 10 as against 36.58 lakh ha last year.

The Saurashtra Oil Mills Association (SOMA) has reiterated its demand for creation of a dedicated Promotion Council for peanut to boost consumption and counter the possibility of a glut arising from a possibly large crop this year.

In a letter to Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh, SOMA President Sameer Shah stated that for the welfare of the groundnut producing farmers and peanut processors and allied industries, it was necessary to boost consumption demand.

While SOMA has expressed its eagerness to take up promotion, it is looking to the Centre to provide financial support through a dedicated Peanut Promotion Council.

“Currently 65 per cent of our total edible oil consumption is dependent on imports, which eats up our valuable forex. It is time we reduce our dependence on edible oil imports and encourage local edible oils and value-added usage of peanuts, sesame and other local agri products,” he said.

Multiple goalsWith an eye on the Centre’s target of doubling farm income in three years, SOMA aims to promote groundnut through a Promotion Council with the aim of not just pushing consumption of domestic edible oil and value-added products but also countering false propaganda against the consumption of peanuts. It will also aim to create conditions for better prices for groundnut farmers.

Explaining the reasons for the prominence of groundnut in Gujarat’s kharif sowing, Shah said that the crop is preferred for its lower dependence on rain as against other kharif crops.

“The underground roots of the plant provide nitrogen to the soil, thereby keeping the soil nutrients intact. The plant leaves, branches and other crop remains are used as cattle feed with high nutrition value. Groundnut is an ideal kharif crop that gets ready within 90-120 days and allows room for other winter crops,” said Shah.

Underlining the scope for value addition in groundnut, SOMA has suggested that new markets can be developed for products such as peanut butter ( which is already popular overseas), chocolate coating, peanut flour and for bakery items.

The Promotion Council will also look into consumer awareness by spreading nutritional facts about Vitamin E-rich groundnut oil and its value-added products.

With a coordinated focus on groundnut promotion, Shah looks to enhance consumption by upto 10-15 per cent per annum, which will address the price issues faced by farmers and resultantly reduce the Minimum Support Price procurement burden for the government.

Source: https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/economy/agri-business/traders-call-for-nodal-body-that-will-bat-for-peanut-consumption/article24754066.ece

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