Soya acreage touches record 112 lakh hectares this season

By: | Published: August 5, 2015 12:13 AM

The total area sown under soyabean has crossed 111.85 lakh hectares this kharif season, probably the highest in recent years, officials from the Soyabean Processors Association of India (SOPA) said.

The total area sown under soyabean has crossed 111.85 lakh hectares this kharif season, probably the highest in recent years, officials from the Soyabean Processors Association of India (SOPA) said. Last year, the area under soya was around 108 lakh hectares.

According to DN Pathak, executive director, SOPA, there has been a shift from paddy to soya in some parts of Madhya Pradesh as farmers were not getting enough prices and this may be one of the reasons for the increase in area under cultivation. In Rajasthan as well, the area under soyabean cultivation has increased, he said.

As per the data presented by SOPA, some 33.400 lakh hectares in Maharashtra has come under soya cultivation as against 38 lakh hectares in kharif 2014. In Madhya Pradesh, the area has increased to 59.610 lakh hectares this season as compared to 55.462 lakh hectares while in Rajasthan the area has jumped to 10.849 lakh hectares as against 6.820 lakh hectares last season.

The sowing of soyabean and groundnut has increased by 10.686 and 2.765 lakh hectares, respectively as compared to figures of last year. As per data released by the ministry of agriculture, the total area under kharif oilseeds has increased by 12.91 lakh hectare. Total sowing of oilseeds during entire kharif 2014 stood at 174.8 lakh hectares.

According to industry experts, farmers received good returns in groundnut, sesame and soyabean during 2014 due to lower production which also encouraged farmers of Gujarat, Maharashtra and Rajasthan to shift towards oilseed crops. Pathak said the prices of oilseeds have been one of the major factors to boost sowing this year.

The weekly report released by the Directorate of Oilseeds Development reveals that soyabean plantation has crossed 32.20 lakh hectares this season as compared to 25.80 lakh hectares last season. In Madhya Pradesh, sowing operations are marginally lower at 55.5 lakh hectares as opposed to 56 lakh hectares same time last season. An earlier survey conducted by the association reveals that in Madhya Pradesh, the sowing of soyabean started earlier as compared to last year. Almost 80% sowing was completed during the first spell of rains in mid-June.

Maharashtra, which is the country’s second-largest soyabean growing state, contributes 35-40% of the total output. The commodity is planted on nearly 38 lakh hectares in the state. Last year, 6.86 lakh quintals of new seeds were required. This season 10.38 lakh quintals of new seeds are available with the government, Jayant Deshmukh, director, Quality Control and Planning, Maharashtra Agriculture Department, had said earlier. The shortage of soya seeds posed a challenge last year and therefore the government decided to run an awareness campaign among farmers to use their own seeds, he said.

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