The Indian Sustainable Castor Standard (ISCS) will facilitate the development of a sustainable and traceable supply chain of castor, according to Atul Chaturvedi, President of Solvent Extractors’ Association (SEA) of India.

In his monthly letter to SEA members on Monday, he said ISCS will help improve the economic, social, and environmental performance of the castor supply chain, and thereby enhance economic self-sufficiency and livelihoods of small-holder producer.

As the world is moving towards renewable resources, it is now mandatory to bring in sustainability in the resource supply chain. Stating that India produces more than 90 per cent of the world castor crop, he said SEA has been successfully running castor initiative since seven years.

It has been decided to establish ISCS, and work has been initiated to develop a framework for establishing the standard keeping in mind the global requirements. The sustainability standard will be framed for the whole supply chain that include farmers, traders, castor seeds crushers, derivative manufacturers and final end-users, he said, adding, this will go a long way in promoting sustainable castor products from India to the world market.

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He complimented Haresh Vyas, in-charge of ISCS, and the entire team for their efforts to develop in the ISCS.

Oilseed crop estimate

Referring to the fourth advance estimate for the crop year 2021-22, he said the overall oilseed crop is reduced by 8.02 lakh tonnes (lt) to 377 lt from earlier estimate of 385 lt.

Stating that the main drop is in soyabean, he said it is estimated at 130 lt compared to 138 lt earlier. Sesamum seed production estimate is reduced by 1 lt and now reported at 7.7 lt only. While castor crop is up by 1 lt and reported at 16.1 lt from previous estimate of 15 lt, he said.

Kharif sowing

On the latest weekly data on kharif sowing, he said it indicates oilseeds acreage is similar to that of last year. Area under groundnut was reported at 42.9 lakh hectare (lh) compared to 47.5 lh for the same period last year, a reduction of 4.6 lh, which was replaced by cotton. Area under soyabean was reported at 119 lh compared to 118 lh last year, and under castor seed at 4.7 lh as against 2.8 lh.

He said high price for castor during the sowing period encouraged the farmers to go for larger sowing of castor seed.

Chaturvedi, who is demitting office at the forthcoming annual general meeting of SEA in September, hoped that Ajay Jhunjhunwala, incoming president of SEA of India, would take the association to much greater heights in future.