Agri Business

Soyabean planting nears completion; acreage seen up

Vishwanath Kulkarni Bengaluru | Updated on July 12, 2018 Published on July 12, 2018

Soyabean planting is nearing completion in the key growing areas of Central India aided by a surge in rains over the past week.

The industry and the government expect soyabean acreage in the ongoing kharif season to be higher by 5-15 per cent over last year’s 10.5 million hectares.

“Sowing has picked up this week on widespread rains and we could see a big increase in coverage by end of the week,” said VS Bhatia, Director of the Indore-based ICAR- Indian Institute of Soyabean Research.

The delayed arrival in monsoon had shrunk the sowing window triggering a demand for the short-duration varieties with a maturity of 88 days. With soyabean fetching good returns as prices ruled above the MSP for most part of last year, farmers are seen shifting to the oilseed from other crops such as pulses and cotton, mainly in parts of Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. Also, the 11.44 per cent increase in MSP announced by the Centre at ₹3,399 a quintal for the current kharif season will also lift the acreage.

“We are expecting a 10-15 per cent increase in overall acreage under soyabean when the numbers come in by end July,” Bhatia said.

As on July 6, soyabean was planted on around 5.1 million hectares — about 4 per cent lower than the corresponding period last year. Except for Karnataka, all other soyabean growing States had reported a lower acreage as on July 6 when compared to last year

“Sowing has taken place on a brisk pace this week and most of it is complete,” said DN Pathak, Executive Director, Soyabean Processors Association of India (SOPA). “We maintain that the acreage will rise by at least 5 per cent when compared to last year,” Pathak said. He further added that soyabean could gain area from cotton in Maharashtra and from pulses in Madhya Pradesh.

India’s soyabean production stood at 109.34 lakh tonnes in 2017-18, down 17 per cent from the previous year.

Published on July 12, 2018

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