Saurashtra farmers demand lifting of ban on exports

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Rajkot, Sep 29 (UNI) Saurashtra Marketing yards will observe a day's strike on October 1 to protest the Central government's decision to ban exports of edible oil, including groundnut oil.

Addressing mediapersons here today, Rajkot Marketing Yard Chairman Hardevsinh Jadeja said despite Saurashtra's contribution of 30 per cent of total production of groundnut, farmers' are facing difficulties in getting remunerative prices for the commodity.

At present, farmers are getting rate for groundnut at Rs 425 to 525 for 20 kg sack, which has been drastically decreased from the previous year when they had received Rs 700 rate per 20 kg sack of groundnut, Gondal Marketing yard chairman Jayantibhai Dhol said.

If Saurashtra farmers did not get minimum support price of Rs 550 to 600 per kg for groundnut, marketing yards of Saurashtra will observe a day's strike in all 52 yards.

However, during the strike, they will exempt vegetables and fruits, while the auction of other goods will not take place on October 1, Mr Jadeja said.

Chiefs of various yards of Saurashtra came together today and demanded the export ban be lifted, considering the rich produce this season, following good rainfall in the region. Mr Jadeja said ''We will take up this issue with the Centre's Commerce Ministery very soon.'' Even before start of the groundnut oil milling season, there is an inflow of 10,000 to 15,000 sacks of groundnut daily in the yard, which would go up to one lakh sacks in the near future. If farmers did not get minimum support price of their products, it would adversely affect them and they would be left with no option but to sell their produce at a throwaway price due to ban on exports, Mr Jadeja said.

The marketing yards would later observe an indefinite strike if their demands are not met in time, Mr Jadeja added.

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