The recent rains are turning out to be a boon for the country’s soya crop. Farmers, who expected huge losses in the coming kharif season, can now hope for some relief from improved yield that is likely following the revival of monsoons in key areas. Top officials of the Soyabean Processors Association of India (SOPA) say that farmers who were expecting further losses will be able to recover the crop to some extent.
The crop status is slightly better than what we had predicted a couple of weeks ago, DN Pathak, executive director, SOPA said, declining to give out any estimates for the crop.
“The rains that have come back are turning out to be good for crops. The IMD has predicted good rains for Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh in the next couple of weeks and I think this will help farmers recoup their losses to a certain extent,” he said.
This season, soyabean cultivation in the country has crossed 114.170 lakh hectares. However, absence of rains after sowing has led to unusual growth of weeds in some areas, leading to attack of pests. Last year, the sowing had touched 110.177 lakh hectare and total production touched 99.64 lakh tonne.
Industry experts said the prices of oilseeds have been one of the major factors for a boost in sowing this year. SOPA officials had earlier stated that the erratic tenure of the monsoon and moisture levels could result in some loss while expecting a bumper crop. While farmers in Maharashtra and Karnataka have been facing drought-like situation, in the Dewas district of Madhya Pradesh, it is excessive rain that had destroyed huge swathes of soyabean crop. This is the second consecutive year that the farmers are staring at losses.
However, the recent surveys conducted by the association reveal that there is possibility of revival.
“Owing to lack of rains after sowing, weedicide could not be sprayed, leading unusual growth of weeds in some areas resulting inattack of insects and pests. Except for Malwa and Nimar regions of Madhya Pradesh and some areas of Marathwada in Maharashtra, the crop condition is normal. Soyabean crop in the country still needs one or two rains for a normal yield,” said Davish Jain, chairman, SOPA.