Most of the fat requirement of an ordinary Indian is met by edible oils,
of which groundnut oil is one of the most popular items. Groundnut, production
in India is mainly concentrated in the states of Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Andhra
Pradesh, Maharastra and Karnataka, which together account for more than
80% of the nation's output of groundnut. Of this, Karnataka's share is roughly
10%. Three technologies are currently used for primary extraction of groundnut
oil an d these are : the traditional bullock-drawn ghani, the modified electrically
energised : " power ghani" popularised by KVIC and the larger
capacity oil expellers in the organised sector. In recent years, traditional
ghanies have been progressively displaced and presently, the bulk of groundnut
oil production is in the organised sector.
Due to the importance of groundnut oil in the diet of a common person, and in the context of the existing market mechanism in the country, the market for groundnuts and groundnut oil is extremely erratic and very large price and supply variations are not unusual. In the context of wide-spread speculative practices in the trade, it is rather difficult to estimate the true cost components of groundnut oil production. Even marginal shortages have destabilized the market in the past. In view of these considerations, it is very important that the State initiate steps to assure stable prices and supply of this very essential commodity.