Agri Business

Higher MSP drives rabi pulses, oilseed sowings

Vishwanath Kulkarni New Delhi | Updated on November 25, 2011



Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan have led the increase in coverage

The country is set for a bumper rabi pulses and oilseeds crop on the back of huge increase in minimum support price. Rabi sowings of pulses and oilseeds also aided by a comfortable status of water storage in reservoirs have picked up according to latest numbers.

Sowing in oilseeds, pulses and coarse cereals has almost covered over two-thirds of the targeted area. However, the cultivation of rice is yet to pick up whereas wheat sowing has covered over half of the targeted area.

The area under pulses for the week-ending November 24 has shown an increase of five per cent at 92.94 lakh hectares as against 87.94 lakh ha over corresponding period last year. This increase in area under pulses is led by gram, a dominant crop, whose coverage has gone up by 4 per cent to 61 lakh hectares over corresponding last year.

Rise in area

States such as Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan have led the increase in coverage by three per cent. The rise in area could be attributed to the hike in MSP for gram, which was increased by 24 per cent to Rs 2,800 a quintal. Sowing of other pulses such as peas and lentil are either marginally up or flat compared to the previous year.

The Government has set a pulses production target of 10.27 million tonnes for the current rabi season and had created a contingency plan to boost the output to offset the kharif shortfall of 7 lakh tonnes. An additional output of 2.78 million tonnes was being targeted through area expansion and productivity enhancement to offset the kharif shortfall. Pulses output in kharif 2011 is expected to be 6.43 million tonnes, according to first advanced estimates, as against 7.12 million tonnes last year.


In case of oilseeds, though the total area covered has largely remained flat at 65.68 hectares, the sowing of mustard rapeseed has picked up so far, compared to other oilseeds. Sowing of mustard was up by one per cent to 56.54 lakh ha mainly led by higher coverage in West Bengal, Haryana and Rajasthan. It is expected that the area under mustard could go up substantially following the 35 per cent hike in MSP at Rs 2,500 a quintal.

Area under sunflower and safflower are marginally lower compared to last year. The production target for rabi oilseeds is set at 11.5 million tonnes. The projected kharif oilseeds output this year is estimated to be 20.89 million tonnes as against the targeted 22.1 million tonnes. Also, the area under cereals such as rice, maize, barley and ragi is flat compared to corresponding last year.

Published on November 25, 2011

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