With the drought-like situation in the state and the monsoon uncertainty, many cultivating soybean till now plan to switch to other crops.
Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh account for about 80 per cent of the all-India output. This year, Maharashtra’s output is expected to be 2.2 million tonnes, a fall of 17 per cent. In MP’s Dewas district, excessive rain has destroyed swathes of the crop, though the overall output is expected to remain 3.4 million tonnes.
According to the Soybean Processors Association of India (Sopa), this year, output of the bean this kharif is expected to be 6.9 million tonnes, instead of the earlier estimate of 7.4 million tonnes. Lesser production would mean more import of edible oil and less of soymeal export.
“There has been inter-cropping in Maharashtra, affecting the production. Second, productivity has gone down,” said D N Pathak, executive director, Sopa. “In several cases, farmers have not gone to harvest because the cost of harvesting is much higher.”
The trade thinks farmers are set to reduce the area for soybean cultivation by up to 10 per cent this year, in response to falling prices. Soybean is the main summer-sown oilseed crop for the world’s biggest importer of edible oil but prices have dropped 10 per cent in the past two years. Prices of some pulses have nearly tripled over the same period.
Source : Business Standard