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Fields of Gold: India anticipates record mustard crop, projected at 120.90 lakh tonnes in 2023-24

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India is poised to achieve a milestone in its agricultural sector with an anticipated record Rapeseed-Mustard crop of 120.90 lakh tonnes in the 2023-24 season.

Based on the primary survey of the major states and secondary survey data, India’s Rapeseed-Mustard acreage for the 2023-24 season is estimated at 100.60 lakh hectares, a figure closely aligned with the Ministry of Agriculture’s estimate of 100.50 lakh hectares.

Despite encountering some setbacks, such as damage during February, the average productivity for the 2023-24 season has been estimated at 1,201 kg/ha, underscoring the resilience of Indian agriculture. Consequently, the total mustard production is anticipated to reach a staggering 120.90 lakh tonnes, surpassing the SEA’s earlier estimate of 115 lakh tonnes.

According to a press release, this surge in production is attributed to remunerative prices witnessed in the preceding year, which encouraged farmers to engage in record plantings of the oilseed.

Additionally, conducive weather conditions prevalent across most mustard-growing states have further bolstered this year’s production, marking it as the highest ever recorded.

These findings stem from a comprehensive Crop Survey conducted by The Solvent Extractors’ Association of India (SEA) earlier this month.

India, over the years, has emerged as the world’s largest importer of edible oils, exerting significant pressure on its fiscal resources and farmers’ livelihoods.

In response to this challenge, the SEA, as a responsible apex industry body, has embarked on a series of initiatives aimed at augmenting domestic oilseed availability.

Notably, one such initiative titled the “Mo” has been underway since 2020-21, with the ambitious vision of elevating India’s Rapeseed-Mustard production to 200 lakh tonnes by 2029-30.

The concerted efforts of the SEA, combined with favorable weather conditions and competitive mustard seed prices, have yielded tangible results, manifesting in a substantial increase in mustard production year after year.

The production figures exemplify this trend, with mustard production escalating from around 86 lakh tons in 2020-21 to 113.5 lakh tons in 2022-23.

The ongoing season is poised to witness a pinnacle in mustard production, with estimates projecting a record-breaking 120.9 lakh tons.

Highlighting the methodology employed in estimating the crop yield, the SEA disclosed that they engaged RMSI Cropanalytics Pvt Ltd for the survey.

This involved two rounds of extensive crop surveys, remote sensing analysis, and continuous interactions with farmers throughout the cultivation cycle.

The survey encompassed eight states, including Assam, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal.

In the Second Advance Estimate released by the Ministry of Agriculture on February 29, the crop was pegged at 126.96 lakh tonnes, slightly lower than the 128.18 lakh tonnes recorded in the previous year.

Breaking down the regional contributions to the mustard production, Rajasthan emerges as the frontrunner with an estimated 46.13 lakh tonnes, followed by Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh at 20.03 lakh tonnes and 17.59 lakh tonnes, respectively.