September 8, 2003



India's Haryana State Sows Soybean, Castor for First Time


India's agriculturally productive Northern state of Haryana has expanded its oilseeds cultivation by planting soybean and castor for the first time, local news agency Press Trust of India, reported Monday.


Planting of India's summer sown, or kharif, oilseeds crop begins in June and harvesting takes place in September. The major oilseeds crop grown across the country are rapeseed, mustard, groundnut, soybean and castor.


Haryana has 16,000 hectares cultivated with oilseeds such as soybean, castor and groundnut this kharif season. The PTI report didn't provide comparative data of oilseeds sowing for the previous kharif season in Haryana.


PTI also quoted Haryana's Agriculture Secretary K.S.Bhoria as saying this kharif season, the state has a "record" total of 2.87 million hectares sown with various crops such as rice, oilseeds and pulses. The PTI didn't provide comparative data.


He said this is made possible by good monsoon rains in June and July and the state government's efforts at convincing farmers to switch to growing more oilseeds and pulses from growing just rice and wheat.


India's federal and state governments are encouraging farmers to grow more oilseeds and pulses since India imports large quantities of both commodities.
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