Rapeseed-Mustard crop production is estimated to be around 115.25 lakh tonnes (lt) in 2022-23, according to the Solvent Extractors’ Association (SEA) of India. SEA had estimated the crop at 110 lt in 2021-22.

While releasing the all-India estimate of the rapeseed-mustard crop during 2022-23, SEA said India is heading for a record rapeseed-mustard crop as remunerative prices in the past year encouraged record plantings of the oilseed.

Conducive weather in most parts of the mustard-growing States also aided the highest-ever production. The estimation was the outcome of the crop survey conducted by the SEA of India earlier this month, it said.

Of the estimated production of 115.25 lt, Rajasthan is estimated to produce 44.95 lt. This is followed by Madhya Pradesh at 18.03 lt, Uttar Pradesh at 16.69 lt, and Haryana at 11.47 lt.

In the second advance estimate dated February 14, the Union Ministry of Agriculture had estimated the crop at 128.18 lt in 2022-23 compared with 119.63 lt in 2021-22.

A statement by BV Mehta, Executive Director of SEA, said the association had roped in RMSI Cropanalytics Pvt Ltd for the survey through two rounds of extensive crop surveys, and remote sensing analysis for highest level of accuracy in crop area estimation.

States such as Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal were surveyed for the crop estimation.

Rajasthan tops in area

Based on the primary survey of nine major States and secondary survey of rest of the States, India’s rapeseed-mustard acreage for 2022-23 is estimated at 95.77 lakh hectares (lh), which is lower than the Union Ministry of Agriculture’s estimate of 98.02 lh.

Of this, the maximum acreage of the crop has been estimated in Rajasthan at 37.43 lh, followed by Uttar Pradesh at 14 lh, and Madhya Pradesh at 13.23 lh.

Gujarat leads in yield

For 2022-23, the average yield has been estimated at 1,203 kg per hectare. Of this, Gujarat showed a maximum yield of 1,714 kg per hectare, followed by Haryana at 1,561 kg per hectare and Madhya Pradesh at 1,362 kg per hectare.

SEA of India will conduct the third and final survey in April-May to revalidate its estimates of yield and production, he said.

Model farms project

SEA, along with Solidaridad, is implementing ‘Model Mustard Farm Project’ with a vision to increase India’s rapeseed-mustard production to 200 lt by 2025-26, Mehta said.

The outcomes of ‘Mustard Model Farm Project’ are reflected in the form of rapeseed-mustard production received this year. The areas where the project is being implemented are showing a good productivity.

Under the project, more than 2,100 mustard model farms have been developed so far covering more than 73,500 mustard farmers in Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Punjab.

The project was implemented with 400 model farms in five districts of Rajasthan in 2020-21. In 2021-22, it was expanded in Rajasthan and to Madhya Pradesh with 500 more model farms. In 2022-23, 1234 model farms are developed. Along with Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, now the project has been expanded to Ayodhya (Uttar Pradesh) and Sangrur (Punjab) with the support of JR Agro Industries and Ricela Foundation, Dhuri. More than 2,100 model farms have been set up so far in four States.

Implementation of scientific practices and the use of improved technologies by farmers in these regions are the major factors in augmented production, he said.

Quoting Ajay Jhunjhunwala, President of SEA of India, the statement said the successful implementation and positive outcomes from this project will provide SEA proof of concepts and set of best practices for country-wide expansion of this initiative towards achieving the ambitious target of increasing production of rapeseed-mustard to 200 lt by 2025.

The objective is also to shift the area to mustard, particularly in Punjab and Haryana, by demonstrating the financial viability of mustard over conventional crop such as rice, wheat and sugarcane. This will enhance the contribution of the sector in Indian economy, food security, wellbeing of farmers as well as employment creation, he said.

Shatadru Chattopadhyay, Managing Director of Solidaridad Asia, said the growth in mustard production in the last three years is a good indication of India becoming self-reliant in edible oil production.

Vijay Data, Chairman of SEA Rape-Mustard Promotion Council, said mustard is the most promising oilseed crop for increasing the domestic edible oil production and to make India self-reliant in edible oil while enhancing income and livelihood of farmers.

Suresh Motwani, General Manager of Solidaridad Network Asia, said the experiences in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Punjab show that the productivity of the mustard crop can be increased phenomenally with the help of modern technology. “We appreciate the technical knowledge support provided by the Directorate of Rapeseed-Mustard Research Centre, Bharatpur, for mustard model farms, and we look forward for continued co-operation and support from the institute. We remain committed to working together for the large-scale expansion of such initiative,” he said.