Agri Business

Rajasthan farmers choose mustard and wheat over gram

Our Bureau | | | Updated on: Nov 27, 2021
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Low mandi price of gram dissuades farmers from expanding acreage

Rajasthan farmers have preferred mustard and wheat crops over gram (chana) in the current rabi sowing season which may affect the State government’s target of diverting more areas from cereal to pulses and oilseeds crops.

Acreage of mustard has increased 40 per cent to 32.65 lakh hectare (lh) as of November 26 from the year-ago period. The government had raised the mustard acreage target to 28 lh for the current season, up from 27 lh last year.

Also see: Toor output set to shrink as excess rains hit crop in major States

However, as against 3.2 per cent reduction in wheat area target from last year’s actual sowing of 31 lh, farmers have so far expanded the acreage by 25 per cent at 19.01 lakh hectare, official data show.

Early winter

“The main reasons for the expansion in area under wheat and mustard are robust prices and early onset of winter. As sowing is likely to be completed in a fortnight — a few weeks earlier than normal — we can have a clear picture,” said a State government official.

Rajasthan is top producer of mustard and fifth largest in wheat.

Wheat procurement rises

Wheat procurement by Food Corporation of India (FCI) for the Central Pool stock increased in 2021 in Rajasthan by five per cent to 2.34 million tonnes (mt) from the previous year. Farmers had received average ₹1,872/quintal in mandis during the main harvesting period April-June of 2021 against minimum support price (MSP) of ₹1,925/quintal.

Similarly, in mustard, mandi prices were ₹6,074-6,641 per quintal, or 31-43 per cent higher than the MSP of ₹4,650/quintal during April-June.

Also see: Rabi acreage up 7.3% at 34.6 million hectares

On the other hand, farmers sold gram at an average ₹4,990/quintal, against MSP of ₹5,100. The current mandi price of gram in Rajasthan is further lower at about ₹4,633/quintal. This could be the reason for farmers sticking to the same area under gram instead of increasing it further as planned.

The State has targeted an increase gram acreage this season to 20 lh from last year’s 18 lh. So far, the area has reached 17.96 lh and sowing is almost over as about 70,000 hectares increase was reported during last week.

Overall acreage of agriculture crops in Rajasthan has reached about 83 per cent of the targeted 100.8 lh and the government is hopeful of meeting the target.

Published on November 29, 2021

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