Agri Business

India's castorseed output seen 25% lower as farmers switch to other crops

Our Bureau Ahmedabad | Updated on January 13, 2018 Published on February 19, 2017

BL20_SEED

Traders, farmers expect prices to surge post May, June from current Rs 3,900

India's castor seed crop is expected to decline by 25 per cent to 10.67 lakh tonnes for the season 2016-17, as against 14.23 lakh tonnes recorded in the previous year, a crop survey released by Nielsen India on behalf of the Solvent Extractors Association of INdia (SEA) revealed.

Lower price realisation from the castor crop over the past year prompted farmers to turn to other alternate kharif crops such as groundnut, cotton, pulses and spices resulting in a sharp decline in the castor area by more than a quarter or 26 per cent to 8.45 lakh hectares as against 11.36 lakh hectares last year. However, the yield per hectare is likely to be marginally better at 1263 kg per hectare, 1 percent higher than 1253 kg.

Largest producer of the oilseed, Gujarat, however, has the highest shift from castor to other kharif crops as the area in the state has declined the most by 28 per cent for 2016-17 at 5,65,000 hectares as against 7,81,000 hectares last year. The production is estimated to fall by 27 per cent to 8.61 lakh tonnes as against 11.73 lakh tonnes last year.

Production in the other growing regions, Rajasthan is likely to fall by 16 per cent to 1.23 lakh tonnes (1.47 lakh tonnes), Andhra Pradesh and Telangana are estimated to have castor seed production of 64,000 tonnes, down 19 per cent as against 79,000 tonnes last year.

According to farmer sources, sustained lower prices of castor seed made it less remunerative for the growers. Castor futures on NCDEX ended at Rs 3,899 per quintal for the immediate month contract.

On the price outlook, experts maintained that a spurt in the prices is likely around May, June post the final crop situation. India is the world’s largest castorseed producer.

Published on February 19, 2017
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