The Soybean Processors Association of India (SOPA), in its first survey of soybean crop for the season of 2018-19, has estimated the total area under soybean for 2018 at 108.396 lakh hectare. The area has increased by 6.83 lakh hectare (6.7%) as compared to previous year.
The government’s area estimate is around 113.339 lakh hectare. The estimated total production of soybean crop for all India for the year 2018 is 114.832 lakh tonne, which is higher by 31.275 lakh tonne (37.4%) as compared to Kharif 2017. This could be highest in the last 5 years.
According to DN Pathak, executive director, SOPA, two teams of officials from the association conducted an extensive field survey to assess the shift in area, crop condition, expected productivity between September 23,2018 to October 2, 2018.
“We estimate that the actual area in Maharashtra is 36.390 lakh hectare which is 10% less than the government estimates of 40.433 lakh hectare. Similarly, the actual area in Rajasthan is 9.212 lakh hectare as compared to 10.112 lakh hectare given by the government. The reduction in area by SOPA is to take into account inter-cropping and total loss after sowing,” Pathak said.
The area in Madhya Pradesh has increased to 54.100 lakh hectare in 2018 as against 50.100 lakh hectare in 2017. The average yield here is expected to touch 1,094 kg per hectare from 838 kg per hectare in 2017.
Similarly in Telangana, the area for 2018 is 1.791 lakh hectare. In 2017, it was 1.652 lakh hectare and the expected yield is 877 kg per hectare in 2018 as against 638 kg per hectare. In Karnataka, the area has gone up from 2.710 lakh hectare in 2017 to 3.190 lakh hectare in 2018 and is likely to result in a production of 911 kg per hectare in 2018 from 640 kg per hectare. The average yield for the year 2018 is estimated as 1,059 kg/hectare as against 823 kg/hectare during the year 2017.
The prospect of a bumper crop has seen the prices come down. Soybean is currently trading at `3,050 per quintal in Latur, compared to `3,500 per quintal last month. In markets across MP, the oilseed is now quoting between `2,800 and `3,000, which is below the MSP of `3,390 per quintal. The government of Maharashtra has already approached the Centre for procurement of soybean along with moong and urad, all of which are trading below MSP. For soybean, expected production is 450 lakh quintal and procurement is expected to be around 25 lakh quintal.