Two back-to-back droughts in the country may see farmers giving preference to crops other than soya. According to industry experts, a drop in soyabean acreage is almost certain for the 2016-17 season, although it is not clear to what extent the crop may be affected at this point.
The soya acreage for last year’s kharif season stood at 110.65 lakh hectares.
“There has been some sporadic instances of sowing across the soya growing regions of the country. Sowing operations have not begun in Madhya Pradesh as there are no rains yet. In Maharashtra and Vidarbha, some farmers have begun sowing. However, the reports of the quantum of sowing are not significant,” DN Pathak, executive director, Soybean Processors Association of India said.
Pathak says that if the distribution of rainfall is good, then the productivity may not get affected. Production of soyabean was around 69.29 lakh tonne in 2015 compared with 87.1 lakh tonne in 2014.
This season, however, farmers may shift to other crops such as pulses and maize. The last two-three years have been difficult and naturally farmers have been looking for alternatives.
Farmers are still worried about the late rains. That’s why some may shift from soyabean to some other kharif crop this year, Pathak said. Last year was particularly bad since farmers were not able to recover costs, he added. Last year, farmers faced a dry spell during the sowing season followed by heavy rains during the harvesting period.