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Mustard May Gain Area At The Expense of Chana & Wheat This Year!

Ayushi Raina
Ayushi Raina
Farmer Working in the Field

Mustard is expected to exceed wheat and chana in terms of area planted in the rabi sowing season, as farmers are projected to plant more of the oilseed crop. Farmers are expected to extend their land area due to increased prices and a favorable environment, even though early sowing has begun in the main producing states of Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.

As of October 14, the Agriculture Ministry reported that mustard had been planted in around 2.80 lakh hectares (LH), primarily in Uttar Pradesh, the second-largest producing state. This is a 55% increase over the same period last year.

The Centre has set the minimum support price (MSP) for mustard for the crop year July 2021-June 2022 at 5,050 per quintal, an increase of 8.6 percent or Rs.400 above the previous crop year's Rs.4650.

In Rajasthan, current market prices are hovering at Rs.7800 per quintal, up to 67-68 percent. "Mustard seeding begins around Navratra and reaches a climax around Diwali. We estimate an area growth of 6-7 lakh hectares in the upcoming rabi season," said Anil Chatar of Marudhar Trading Agency in Jaipur and Chairman of The Central Organization for Oil Industry and Trade's All India Mustard Crop Committee (COOIT).

According to the Agriculture Ministry, the average area under mustard is around 61.55 LH. "As a result of the present weather and pricing trend, farmers will grow more mustard. There will be some movement in the area from wheat and chana from mustard," Chatar said, adding that crop size might increase by 10-15%.

"We estimate mustard area to be 70 LH and a crop size to be 94-95 lakh tonnes in the forthcoming rabi season," Chatar added.

"Given the present pricing levels and greater soil moisture, the mustard area should grow." However, estimating the rise in the area is challenging," said B V Mehta, Executive Director of the Solvent Extractors Association of India (SEAI).

"In the case of soya bean, it was expected that acreages would increase by 6-7% this Kharif, however acreages remained at last year's levels, despite better prices at the time of planting." "There will be an increase in the mustard acreage, but it is difficult to predict," Mehta stated.

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