ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
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Strength in Diversity

last season's record output and rabi crop prospects on current reckoning far from reassuring because of the grossly inadequate sub-soil moisture, chances of edible oil prices registering any major decline even during the peak of the marketing season cannot be rated high. The present assessment of the supply position and also the prevailing price level do not offer any scope for MIO by the NDDB; certainly not for supporting the cause of growers. The gap between indigenous supply and demand during 1990-91 'had been officially reckoned at 6 lakh tonnes. Even if one were to contend that consumer demand is unlikely to increase because of the constraint of high prices, the demand-supply gap is going to be much larger this season owing to the shortfall in indigenous oilseeds production. This is bound to have its impact on prices which could become quite pronounced if the NDDB pushes ahead with its purchases in a big way for the manufacture/supply of 'Dhara' brand groundnut oil. The NDDB has now emerged as the single largest trader in oilseeds/oils with operational facilities denied to the private trade. The private trade cannot be expected to take kindly to the appearance of the NDDB on the edible oils scene. But this is by no means an unhealthy development. The efforts NDDB is making to establish storage capacities at strategic locations, packaging stations spread all over the country and economic transport system to move oils and oilseeds from surplus to deficit areas have much to commend them. Improvement in infrastructural facilities is of crucial importance for enabling growers to realise a proper share of the prices consumers pay for the product.

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