Mustard area is increasing by 6.5% at 6.7 mln ha this year in India

India’s mustard acreage is likely to rise 6.5% on year to 6.7 mln ha in 2018-19 (Jul-Jun), as per the average of the estimates of 10 key edible oil companies and two brokerage houses. The likely rise is seen on the back of a higher minimum support price and as farmers preferred sowing mustard over pulses in some parts of the country.
The poll participants estimated the area under the oilseed for 2018-19 in the range of 5.8-7.4 mln ha, and for 2017-18 in a range 5.4-6.7 mln ha. All the 12 participants polled expect a higher acreage this year.
    The expected rise in area under mustard seed this year is also because of a fall in temperatures in Rajasthan, the largest grower, which is favourable for the oilseed.
In Rajasthan, mustard acreage is likely to increase to over 2.3 mln ha from 1.9 mln ha last year. It was anticipated earlier that mustard acreage would fall because of patchy rains in most parts of the country but rains in October changed the sentiment for sowing
Farmers across the country had sown mustard across 5.79 mln ha as of Thursday, up 4.3% from a year ago, according to latest data released by the farm ministry. Last year, mustard acreage was at 6.7 mln ha, according to government data.
“This year, prices of pulses have been largely down. Therefore, growers preferred to sow mustard over pulses in key growing areas including Rajasthan,” Central Organisation for Oil and Trade Chairman said.
“Acreage of mustard may not increase more than 5-7%. Crop shift is seen higher in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.
The Centre has fixed the minimum support price for mustard at 4,200 rupees per 100 kg for 2018-19 compared with 4,000 rupees the previous year.
Expectation that state governments might bring mustard under the Bhavanatar Bhugtan Yojana, when fresh arrivals begin in full swing, might also encourage farmers to sow more of the oilseed, Mustard Oil Processors Association of India General Secretary.
Exports of mustard meal are also expected to rise as China lifted a six-year-old ban on imports of the meal from India, an official with the US-based food major said.