Groundnut farmers at their wits’ end

Groundnut farmers in many pockets of Anantapur district are at their wits’ end due to heavy rains in August and early September which proved a bane for the crop and harvested produce stored on the farmland. Though heavy rain led to a good green vegetative growth, the pod’s formation was not proper which resulted in reduced yield.

Gonuguntla Adinarayana and his brother together raised groundnut crop in 15 acres (five acres under borewell irrigation and 10 acres as rainfed ID crop), and on Sunday tried to retrieve harvested crop all that was possible from their land. Adinarayana spent nearly ₹2 lakh for his portion of 10 acres of the crop and was expecting good returns as the Minimum Support Price was fixed at ₹5,250 per quintal.

He bought seed for ₹6,100 per quintal from the open market and a small quantity he received under subsidy from the government at ₹4,750 per quintal. He deployed a thresher for ₹15,000 for five acres and spent another ₹15,000 for getting groundnut harvested manually employing labourers paying ₹350 a day for a single person.

Market price

The current market price at which traders were procuring groundnut was ₹2,100 and it would push Adinarayana into debts. The yield in 2.5 acres of his portion under borewell cultivation at Katiganikalva was good at 60 bags of 45 kg each per acre, but in the rainfed land, which he yet to harvest, he does not expect even 60% of this yield – finally ending up in loss at the end of the season. “If the government helps us get MSP from now itself, we will definitely make profit and get back our investment fully,” says Mr. Adinarayana.

Rythu Sangham district secretary Chandrasekhar Reddy has expressed concern at the Agriculture Department itself throwing up its hands in getting a good price for the produce as it itself purchased groundnut from November to February at ₹6,100 a quintal for distribution of seeds under subsidy.

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