By Pramod Kumar Jha
New Delhi, Feb 19 (IANS) The campaign ‘Mustard Mission’, which has been launched to increase the mustard yields, has proved to be effective for the major oilseed crop of the Rabi season this year. According to a senior Central government official, the production of mustard could reach close to 120 lakh tonne this year.
The second advance estimate of the current crop year 2020-21 (July-June) has not yet been released by the Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, but officials of the Ministry of Agriculture say that this time farmers of the country have shown lot of interest in engaging in mustard farming. The Central government has also worked as a mission in this direction, so that the production which was normally nearly 90 lakh tonne can go up to 120 lakh tonne this year.
The official told IANS that the use of mustard seeds of high quality and increasing their yields could increase the yield per hectare from 20 per cent to 100 per cent.
The official said that under the ‘Mustard Mission’, mustard farming has been emphasized upon in 368 districts across 11 major mustard producing states in the country.
The agricultural scientists also point out that mustard production may increase as the weather is favourable so the crop is suitable for growing it and yield may increase.
P.K. Rai, Director of Directorate of Rapeseed Mustard Research based in Bharatpur, Rajasthan under the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), told IANS that the area of mustard cultivation has also increased and yields are expected to increase as the weather is favourable. The Agricultural scientist Rai has estimated that the production of mustard could be between 110 lakh tonne and 120 lakh tonne this year.
According to the data released by the Union Agriculture Ministry, mustard sowing has been done in nearly 74 lakh hectares across the country in the current crop year, which is more than seven per cent as compared to the previous year.
Uttamchand, a Rajasthan businessman, said that price is a big reason for rising interest of farmers in mustard cultivation, because the price of mustard in the country has risen this year. Hence, farmers have cultivated mustard in the hope of getting a fair price for their produce.
According to data from the Union Ministry of Agriculture, during the previous crop year mustard production was 91.16 lakh tonne in 2019-20 while it was 92.56 lakh tonne in 2018-19.