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Uneven rains, drought to impact soybean production

Uneven rains, drought to impact soybean production

Production expected to be lower at 69.29 lakh tons than earlier estimate of 74 lakh tons in kharif season

Hrishkesh Joshi | Pune

June 1, 2016 Last Updated at 13:06 IST

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Uneven rains, drought impact soybean production


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Jaydeep Koruchi, a small farmer from Digraj, Sangli, Maharashtra who has been cultivating soybeans so far is planning to cultivate other crop this year, due to erratic monsoon and draught like situation in the state.

Many other like Koruchi who have been cultivation soybean are in similar situation, which is expected to impact soybean production in India.

According to industry body Soybean Processors Association of India, this year, soybean production is expected to be lower at 69.29 lakh tons than earlier estimate of 74 lakh tons in kharif season.

The mid-term review of the oil year (October-September) points out that the harvest is going to be around 69.29 lakh tons. Low production of soybean will force the country to increase imports of edible oils, lower soyameal exports and may have a impact on other businesses.

"This year entire situation is monsoon dependent. As per the predictions, if the monsoon is good, there will be a enough production of soybean next year. There are a couple of reasons for production that is expected to go down in Maharashtra. First, there has been inter-cropping and therefore, the production figures may be affected, and secondly, the productivity has gone down," said D N Pathak, executive director, SOPA.

Indian farmers are set to reduce the area for soybean cultivation by up to 10% this year in response to falling prices, pushing up likely imports of edible oils such as palm oil and soy oil.

Soybean is the main summer-sown oil seed crop for the world's biggest importer of edible oil, but prices have dropped 10% in the past two years, while the prices of pulses such as tuar have nearly tripled over the same period. During the 2015 kharif season, soybean was sown in an area of 110.65 lakh hectares during the 2015 kharif season.

The export of soybean meal during April 2016 was just 12,295 tonne compared to 46,389 tonne in April 2015 which is down by 73.5%, data compiled by SOPA stated. During current oil year (October-September), total exports during October 2015 to April 2016 were 1,98,065 tonne as against 5,96,016 tonne last year, showing a decrease of 66.77%.

Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh are the major soybean producers of India and contribute over 80% of the total production.

This year, Maharashtra has registered fall in production of 4.6 lakh tonne or 17% due to drought like situation and it is expected to be 22 lakh tonne while MP's Dewas, excessive rain has destroyed crop. According to the revised numbers, there is no change in production of Madhya Pradesh at 34.125 lakh tonne. It accounts for 53% of India's total soybean production.