LUDHIANA– Mustard, one of the most important oilseed crops in India, contributes around 35% in total vegetable oil production to the country, disclosed Dr Jagrup Singh Sidhu, In charge, Agricultural Market Intelligence Centre (AMIC), Department of Economics and Sociology, PAU. As the sowing of mustard in Punjab starts from mid October to November, the AMIC gathered and analyzed market intelligence regarding rapeseed-mustard from various sources to help the farmers to take sowing and marketing decisions, said Dr Sidhu. Based on this information, the centre forecasted rapeseed-mustard prices in the range of Rs. 2250-2450 per quintal during April and May, 2012, depending on the government edible oil import policy and trends in the international edible oil prices. It is also for the information of the farmers that market prices of rapeseed-mustard in the major growing states ruled between Rs. 2250-2700 during 2010-11, told he. The government increased the minimum support price of mustard from Rs. 1850 to Rs. 2120 per quintal for the marketing season 2011-12.
The centre also wish to add that mustard oil is the third most important edible oil produced in the world after soy oil and palm oil, said Dr Sidhu, revealing that the global oilseed supplies and ending stocks for the year 2010-11 are estimated higher due to increase in production by 2.8 million tons at 447 million tons. However, the world production of rapeseed-mustard is estimated to decline during 2010-2011 from 60.5 million tons to 57.2 million tons due to lower crops in major mustard producing countries such as European Union, China and Canada, added he.
Dr Sidhu said that the production of rapeseed-mustard in the country is estimated at 7.1 million tons from 7.2 million hectares which is increased by about 11 percent as compared to the last year, with most of the increase reported from Rajasthan. Rajasthan is the leading mustard producing state in India contributing about 45 per cent of total production followed by Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Gujarat and West Bengal. Hapur, Jaipur, Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Indore, Alwar, Bharatpur and Sri Ganganagar are the major trading centres for this crop.
Dr Sidhu told that in Punjab, the area and production of rapeseed-mustard slightly increased from 27 thousand hectares and 35 thousand tons during 2009-10 to 28 thousand hectares and 38 thousand tons during 2010-11 respectively. The major proportion of the area is concentrated in districts of Ferozepur, Bathinda, Gurdaspur, Hoshiarpur and Mansa. Most of the rapeseed-mustard produce is marketed during April and May.
The estimated higher global and domestic oilseeds production due to higher acreage and favorable weather conditions is likely to keep rapeseed-mustard prices stable during the coming marketing season, added he. Dr Sidhu said that at the same time, zero import tariffs on edible oils will continue to encourage sufficient imports of palm and other edible oils which is likely to increase by 4 percent to reach 9 million tons.