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Govt to Purchase 1.5 MT of Mustard as Prices Fall Below MSP

With mustard mandi prices dropping below the Minimum Support Price (MSP) of Rs 5,450/quintal after being far above the threshold for more than two years, the government has decided to purchase 1.5 million tonne (MT) of the oilseed from farmers in Rajasthan, the country's largest producer.

Shivam Dwivedi
Rajasthan state co-operative marketing federation purchased 0.34 MT of mustard in 2020, against a target of 1 MT.
Rajasthan state co-operative marketing federation purchased 0.34 MT of mustard in 2020, against a target of 1 MT.

According to sources, the Rajasthan state co-operative marketing federation (Rajfed) will likely purchase mustard at MSP beginning April 1 under the agriculture ministry's price support scheme for oilseeds.

 

After a two-year hiatus, the procurement will take place. Rajfed purchased 0.34 MT of mustard in 2020, against a target of 1 MT. Meanwhile, the Haryana state cooperative supply and marketing federation (Hafed) joined the mandis on Wednesday for the commercial purchase of approximately 20,000 tonne of mustard at the MSP.

On the prospect of a bumper harvest, mustard mandi prices in Bharatpur (Rajasthan), the oilseeds trade hub, are currently ruling around Rs 100/quintal to Rs 150/quintal below the MSP. These are the lowest prices in two years.

In November of last year, mandis prices were around Rs 7,500/quintal. "Government procurement is likely to push mandi prices above MSP," an official said.

Farmers are currently harvesting mustard, and the oilseeds variety will begin arriving in large quantities in the mandi by the end of this month. According to Roop Singh, CEO of Uttan Mustard Producers Company, an FPO based in Astavan village (Bharatpur), while farmers have received remunerative prices that are reasonably higher than MSP in the last two years, this year's record harvest is expected to hit farmers hard due to a sharp drop in mandi prices.

The agriculture ministry expects mustard seed production to reach a new high of 12.8 MT in the 2022-23 crop year (July-June). The current rabi season has seen a record 9.8 million hectare (MH) of mustard planted, which is 64% more than the previous five years' average sown area of 6.4 MH. The mustard sown area in the 2021-22 season was 9.1 MH.

Rajasthan (40%), Madhya Pradesh (14%), Uttar Pradesh (9%) and Haryana (7%), currently account for 70% of the country's mustard seed production.

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