Indian Rapeseed Output to Hit a Record High
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Rapeseed-mustard is an important oilseed crop and one of India’s second-largest oilseed crops. Rapeseed–mustard crops in India are grown in diverse agro-climatic conditions ranging from north-eastern to northwestern hills and south under irrigated/rainfed, timely/late sown, saline soils, and mixed cropping. In India, Rapeseed is grown in the Rabi season from September-October to February-March. Soil condition identifies sandy loam to clay loam soils but thrives best on light loam soils.
Indian mustard accounts for about 80% of the total hectares under these crops in the country. Of the whole area and production under the nine oilseeds crops grown in India, Rapeseed-mustard accounts for 23.2% of the acreage and 26.2% of the production (2014-15 to 2018-2019). The average Rapeseed-mustard yield in India is about 1499 kg/ha compared to the combined oilseed crops average of 1265 kg/ha (2018-19). Although Rapeseed-mustard is cultivated in the majority of states of the country, the bulk of the production comes from Rajasthan (44.97 %), Haryana (12.44 %), Madhya Pradesh (11.32%), Uttar Pradesh (10.60 %), and West Bengal (7.53 %) during (2014-15 to 2018-19). Nearly 74 percent of the area under the crop is irrigated.
During the last 20 years, persistent efforts of the scientists of ICAR-DRMR and AICRP-RM have led to the development of several improved Rapeseed-Mustard varieties, crop production, and protection technologies. The introduction of high-yielding Rapeseed-mustard varieties, hybrids, and refinement of the enhanced production and protection technologies by the Directorate has contributed significantly to improving the production and productivity of Rapeseed-Mustard in India, besides enhancing the quality of the produce.
Rapeseed Production in India
Rapeseed output in India is likely to rise to a record high in 2023 as higher prices have encouraged farmers to plant the main winter oilseed on nearly 9% more area than a year ago, trade and industry officials said. Higher Rapeseed production could help India, the world’s biggest importer of vegetable oils, cut expensive overseas cooking oil purchases that cost the country a record $18.9 billion in the fiscal year to March 31, 2022.
India meets more than 70% of its cooking oil demand through palm oil, soybean oil, and sunflower oil imports from Malaysia, Indonesia, Brazil, Argentina, Ukraine, and Russia. Farmers have planted Rapeseed, the highest oil content among India’s nine main oilseeds, on 8.8 million hectares, up from 8.1 million hectares a year earlier.
“The Rapeseed area can go up to 9.4 to 9.5 million hectares this year, and that suggests that Rapeseed production will go up,” said B.V. Mehta, executive director of the industry body the Solvent Extractors’ Association of India. “But weather conditions need to be favorable.”
Last year, farmers planted Rapeseed on 9.1 million hectares and harvested 11 million tons of the oilseed. The early trend suggests that Rapeseed production could touch a record 12 million tons, said Sandeep Bajoria, chief executive of Sunvin Group, a vegetable oil broker.
Also, according to Statista, at the end of fiscal year 2023, India is estimated to produce more than 12 million metric tons of Rapeseed and mustard. In fiscal year 2022, India produced over 38 million metric tons of oilseeds.
“We have expanded the Rapeseed area as the crop gives us better returns,” said Hajarilal Jaat, a farmer from Khandewat village in the north-western state of Rajasthan. Jaat has planted Rapeseed on 31 acres this year, up from 19 last year.
But higher temperatures could reduce per-hectare yields and limit production growth, said Krishna Khandelwal, a trader based at Niwai in Rajasthan. The crop needs lower temperatures for higher yields, but the temperature in the most significant producing north-western belt has been running 2 to 5 degrees Celsius above normal, weather department data showed.
Other sources: DRMR.RES
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