Excess rainfall in some parts of the state notwithstanding, Madhya Pradesh is all set to maintain its growth story in agriculture this year too.
The Soybean Processors Association of India (SOPA), an apex body representing the soybean sector, in its first crop survey for the ongoing kharif season, has predicted an increased production of 5.2 lakh metric tonnes (MT) of soybean in MP over the previous season. The survey has predicted an overall increase of 10.2 lakh MT in the country.
MP is the largest producer of soybean in the country with the state accounting for almost 50% of the entire production in the country. The state had registered an 18 % growth in the agriculture sector during 2011-12.
The crop survey suggests that during kharif 2012- soybean production could hit 66.850 lakh MT as against 61.66 lakh MT last year. The report that covers seven soybean-producing states suggests an overall production of 126.775 lakh MT as against 116.504 lakh MT last year.
Extensive surveys were carried out in MP, Maharashtra and Rajasthan according to the norms laid down by the Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India. The area under soybean cultivation in MP has gone up from 57.3 lakh hectares in 2011 to 58.128 lakh hectares in 2012 a rise of 0.83 lakh hectares.
The survey predicts an increase in yield per hectare from 10.76 quintals in 2011 to 11.50 quintals per hectare in 2012, which is an increase of 0.74 quintals. Soybean production in Maharashtra is also expected to increase from 35.60 lakh MT in 2011 to 39.95 lakh MT this year while in Rajasthan it is expected to go down from 12.48 lakh MT in 2011 to 12.32 lakh MT this year.
There had been apprehensions that heavy and continuous rains could have damaged the soybean crop in many parts of the state. The report mentions that the soybean crop suffered in five districts of MP: Sehore, Harda, Hoshangabad, Guna and Raisen because of water logging and excess rains.
The spokesperson of SOPA Rajesh Agarwal said in the last 20 years, the survey has been fairly accurate with an error margin of 2-3%. "SOPA may carry out another survey," he said.