February 20, 2013
India's rapeseed crop may rise 20% on higher yield
Due to better yield and favourable climatic conditions, rapeseed-mustard crop output in the forthcoming rabi season is expected to increase by 20% to 71 lakh tonnes against 59 lakh tonnes estimated in March last year.
According to the Solvent Extractors Association (SEA) survey, area under rapeseed/mustard has dropped marginally to 64 lakh hectares against an earlier estimate of 66 lakh hectares.
The yield per hectare is expected to go up by 24% to 1,103 kilogrammes a hectare against last estimate of 893 kilogrammes. The SEA survey was conducted in major rapeseed-mustard growing regions in Gujarat, Rajasthan, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.
B.V. Mehta, Executive Director, SEA, said the crop may be delayed by 15-20 days due to late sowing and high temperature during the beginning of the season. The good sub-soil moisture at the time of sowing and showers in January and February and favourable weather have helped farmers to increase their yield, he said.
Besides, the estimates are based on current weather condition and expectation that the prevalent cold temperature will continue for two to three weeks, he added.
The yield and overall production may be impacted if the temperature rises in next few days. While association has maintained Government record on area, it has made adjustment on yield to reflect the correct production of rapeseed/mustard, he said.
The association has been involved in various programmes to increase productivity of different oilseeds, including rapeseed /mustard. At the beginning of rabi season, the association procured seeds of high yielding Gujarat mustard-3 variety (GM-3). It was distributed to progressive farmers in Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra for evaluation purpose.
A study has found that the GM-3 yield increased by 30-50% in comparison with yield of conventional variety grown in the same farms. If this variety is abundantly made available and propagated, it will not be difficult to achieve the target of 100 lakh tonnes of rapeseed mustard in the next three-five years, said Mehta.