Record oilseeds production this year

Tuesday, 23 September 2003, 07:00 Hrs
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NEW DELHI: India is expecting a record 50 percent hike in oilseeds production this year with the monsoon and weather having been favourable right through the sowing and maturing period, said a top agriculture scientist.

"With the monsoon and weather having been favourable and good moisture content, we are expecting a record production of rapeseed, mustard, soyabean and groundnut this year," said N.B. Singh, assistant director general (oilseeds and pulses) of the Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR).

"We are hopeful of around 24 million tonnes oilseeds production this year as against 16 million tonnes last year provided the weather remains favourable," Singh told IANS.

A bumper crop will help in bridging the gap between demand and supply of edible oil.

Barring Andhra Pradesh, which is still experiencing the lingering impact of last year's severe drought, production in all other oilseeds growing regions are expected to be the best ever. This includes states like Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, West Bengal, Bihar, Maharashtra and Gujarat.

In another development, India Monday announced the preliminary approval of two new varieties of mustard after three years of trial across the country.

The first variety, CS 614-4-1-4, developed at the Central Soil Salinity Research Institute (CSSRI), Karnal, is resistant to salinity.

The second, JD-6, is a short duration variety found most suitable for the northeastern regions, including Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal and Assam.

The short duration variety mustard developed at the New Delhi-based Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) matures in only 100-120 days as against 140 days required by normal Indian varieties.

It is ideal for growing between a summer and a winter crop.

"The short duration variety is the earliest summer variety of mustard. It is ideal for sowing in the northeastern region of the country before a wheat crop and after rice fallow in place of toria oilseeds, which has short maturity of 90 days. This variety of mustard will give a substantially better yield," said Singh.

In the case of the variety for saline soil found in some areas of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, the new mustard promises 10-15 percent higher yield, said Singh.

"The farmers will be able to get the seeds of the new varieties for sowing next year. We hope to complete the release process in the next couple of months and take up seed multiplication," said Singh.

While developed through hybridisation process, the seeds are not genetically modified.

Source: IANS
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