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India set for Soybean boom

August 07, 2007 14:52 IST
Following good rains and high global edible oil prices, soybean acreage is likely to touch a record 84 lakh hectares in the current kharif season.

According to an estimate by the Soybean Processors Association of India, the area under soybean cultivation as on August 2 shot up by 5 per cent to 80.827 lakh hectares as against the total area of 77.162 lakh hectares in 2006 and 76.72 lakh hectares in 2005.

However, the production cannot be estimated at this point of time as the actual picture from some parts of the country is still awaited. Considering around one tonne a hectare, the output will break last year's record of 71.496 lakh tonnes and touch 8.5 million tonnes this year, said a Sopa press release.

The industry has targeted a total 81.62 lakh hectares of acreage under soybean cultivation for the kharif season and up to August 2, approximately 99 per cent of the area has been covered.

Normally, soybean plantation begins in June and continues up to July. Harvesting of the early soybean crop begins generally in late September and the late crop harvesting continues till December.

Soybean sowing for the current kharif season began in the second week of June, coinciding with the early spell of rain, especially in Madhya Pradesh, which has so far recorded 103 per cent of the targeted sowing area of 45.7 lakh hectares. The state recorded a total cultivation area of 46.903 lakh hectares as of August 2.

With early rains in the second week of June this season, soybean sowing began in Indore, Dhar, Khandwa, Dewas Vidisha, Guna Shivapuri and parts of Ujjain districts and covered almost 21.88
lakh hectares up to the end of June.

The germination in the late crop and growth in the early crop is good, a Sopa press release said.

The sowing has been more or less completed and growth in general is good in the sown area covering about 46.903 lakh hectares (target 45.7 lakh hectares).

In Maharashtra, the area under soybean till August 3 was 22.852 lakh hectares against the target of 23.85 lakh hectares. The early crop (9.62 lakh hectares as on July 6) has shown good germination.

In Rajasthan, however, the sowing was delayed due to irregular monsoon and the acreage till the end of July was 6.108 lakh hectares. The crop condition is average, with no incidence of pest and diseases.

In Andhra Pradesh, the soybean area covered 1.024 lakh hectares in Nizamabad and Adilabad. About 90 per cent of the area was covered by the JS335 variety.

Meanwhile, the acreage in Karnataka was 1.53 lakh hectares, while Chhattisgarh registered 0.97 lakh hectares and the rest of the country, including Gujarat, recorded 0.48 lakh hectares.
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