SOYBEAN PRODUCTION in Madhya Pradesh, which accounts for nearly 60 per cent of the country’s total soy production, is set to go up by at least 10-lakh metric tonnes this year as per the estimates of National Research Centre for Soybean (NRCS), headquartered here.
Madhya Pradesh has a prominent place in the national soybean market because 60 per cent of the total DOC (de-oiled cake) comes from here and any news of increased production will only gladden the hearts of the soybean industry nationwide.
NRCS Director Dr G S Chauhan told the Hindustan Times here today that the production figures had almost been static since 1998 onwards remaining about 40 lakh metric tonnes but this year there is a hope of a bumper crop, this despite the fact that the acreage of cultivation in the State has remained static at between about 41 and 45 lakh hectares.
The production figures for Madhya Pradesh was 41.908 lakh metric tonnes in 2003, which dropped to 34.66 lakh tonnes in 2004 and further down to 33.35 lakh metric tonnes last year. Similarly, the nation wide production of soybean was 69.32 lakh metric tonnes, 58.51 lakh metric tonnes and 61.268 lakh metric tonnes in 2003, 2004 and 2005.
The estimates are based on the early indications of crop germination in the Malwa region, which contributes 90 per cent to soybean production in the State. However, Madhya Pradesh’s share in the countrywide soybean production fell from the earlier about 75 per cent despite having almost 41 lakh hectare under soybean cultivation due to increase in acreage in neighbouring states.
The most phenomenal rise has been seen in Maharashtra where the increase has been up to 22 lakh hectares from a mere 5000 hectares in just four years. Rajasthan follows next with five lakh hectares. The percentile contribution to the national average is tabulated as 60, 30, six and four (approximate percentage figures) for Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and the rest of the country respectively.
The crop passes through three phases namely germination (between June to July), flowering/pollination – end of August — and pod-filling by mid-September. The most critical stage of germination has been successfully completed. Most farmers in the State had done early sowing after some good rains were received on June 23 and June 24.
Ninety per cent sowing has been completed in the State and the germination has been found to be highly satisfactory leading to speculations of a record yield.
Seconding the sentiments of Dr Chauhan, Soybean Processors Association of India (SOPA) chairman Rajesh Agarwal said that the germination has been uniform and if going by the current weather report rainfall is received at the right time during the remaining two stages there would be a good crop yield in all the soybean producing states of the country.
Though there were no official reports farmers of dry and arid regions were mostly taking the harvest and it being a cash crop was giving very good returns to the farmers thereby, boosting the economy of the respective states.
Though there had been a delay in monsoon, no major effect was being felt on the crop, as it had been planted before time. Most farmers were growing early maturing varieties of crop with the major ones coming from Jawaharlal Nehru Krishi Vishwavidyalaya, Jabalpur, under the JS series, from NRCS, Indore under the Ahilya series, Panth Nagar under the PK series and from Agarkar deemed university, Pune, and Indian Agriculture Research Institute (IARI), Pusa.
The JS 335 was being widely used for its adaptability, while their latest offering JS 93-205 was being taken up, the NRC-7 series were also in great demand for their early germination and high yield, while MAUS-81, MAUS-47 (maturing within 90-95 days) Ahilya 1,2,3,4, PK 1024, 1042 and 1029 were also in great demand. The return price varied from the fixed Rs 1050 to Rs 13000. The commodity exchange playing a role through NCDEX had also influenced prices giving a momentum to increase translating in increased returns to the farmers.