A small oilseed crop called Niger is mostly produced in rainfed environments. Humans consume Niger seed that contains 37- 47% oil, is pale yellow in colour and has a nutty taste and a pleasant odour. The oil is used for culinary purposes, anointing the body, in the production of paints and soft soaps, as well as for lighting and lubricating.
Niger seed cake is considered a good cow feed, especially for milch cattle. Linseed cake in the calf feed might be replaced by Niger meal, which has 17 percent crude fibre and 30 percent protein. In India, it can be utilised as manure too. Niger is further utilized as green manure to raise the organic carbon content of the soil.
It is mostly cultivated in Kharif season on a 2.61 lakh hectares area. However, it is a rabi crop in Odisha. Niger is grown in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, and West Bengal. 3.21 q/ha is the average yield in India.
Source: Krishi Jagran