The Solvent Extractors’ Association (SEA) has undertaken a Mustard Mission along with Solidaridad to help increase India’s rapeseed production to 200 lakh tons by 2025.
This can be achieved by improving productivity by providing better inputs and technology to the farmers and encouraging the crop diversification from water-intensive surplus wheat and rice to mustard, said Haresh Vyas, chairman-SEA Oilseed Development Council in a statement.
In this direction, the association has developed 100 model farms in the country’s major producing state Rajasthan, directly involving 2,500 farmers in Kota and Bundi districts.
The first years’ experience indicates that the productivity has increased by about 30 percent over the traditional methods and has a potential to increase by over 60 percent.
The association will scale up the model farms to 1,000 over the next five years.
The Mission will also complement the government efforts to increase income of farmers in the country, said Vijay Data, chairman, SEA Rape Mustard Promotion Council.
Solidaridad Network Asia’s general manager Dr. Suresh Motwani said, “We will continue to help the government by making available the infrastructure for best farm practices and market linkage to Indian farmers to enhance their incomes by raising productivity.”
SEA has been regularly conducting crop surveys for key oilseeds including rapeseed to help the agri value chain in the country to take informed decisions.
In its constant attempt to improve the accuracy of the survey, SEA has roped in NCML and Star Agri this year to use remote sensing technology in mapping the area and monitoring the crop health at every stage of the crop using the satellite technology.
Based on the remote sensing data and market intelligence, SEA forecasts the bumper rapeseed crop in the current year (2019-20) at 77.80 lakh tons.
In the previous year, SEA had projected the production at 75.00 lakh tons of rape mustard in India. The total acreage under the crop was estimated marginally lower at 69.51 lakh hectares from 69.76 lakh hectares in the previous year as per the Ministry of Agriculture’s data.
Nonetheless, increased productivity yielded the year-on-year rise in production.
Overall, the rapeseed yield in the current year is estimated to increase by 4 percent from 1,075 kg per hectare in the last year. Good monsoon rainfall coupled with conducive weather throughout the rabi season has helped improve productivity, said Dr. B. V. Mehta, executive director of SEA. According to Mehta, SEA has been constantly working to reduce India’s import dependence for edible oil demand by increasing the oilseed production. The forecast increase in rapeseed production in the current year will help the country in reducing edible oil imports.