200 Model Castor Farms to be Set up in Gujarat

To raise castor productivity by working closely with farmers, Solvent Extractors Association of India (SEA), the national body of the vegetable oil industry, will establish 200 model farms for castor cultivation in five districts of Gujarat, which accounts for 80% of castor production in India.Castor-Oil-Seeds2

These model farms, on 3-4 bighas, will be developed in Banaskantha, Patan, Sabarkantha, Junagadh and Kutch.

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Poison from Castor Bean Seeds Won’t Affect Future Crops

It is well known that castor seeds contain a poisonous toxin ricin. For farmers and other agriculturists involved in cultivation of castor and other vegetable crops, there would be a feeling of uncertainty as to whether cultivation of castor and other vegetable crops can be done in the same land, due to the poisonous nature of castor seed.castoroil-seed

It should be noted that not the entire castor plant is poisonous; the toxin ricin is present only in castor seeds. Even the castor oil extracted from the seeds does not contain any toxin. Only the castor meal contains ricin. Once the plant is harvested and the residue cleaned up at the end of the growing season, there is no poison left out in the cultivated space; hence there is no harm in cultivating other vegetable crops in the same space where castor was cultivated.

Castor oil and meal has many benefits. Castor oil has been used as a purgative since long and still finds many advanced applications. Castor meal is now being utilized in some commercial repellent sprays for squirrels, rabbits, moles and other garden pests.

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Castor Yield Doubles to 4,000 Kg per Hectare under SEA’s Program

Castor seed yield has doubled from 2000 kg to 4000kg/hectare in two villages of Gujarat under SEA’s castor seed development program.castoroil-seed

Buoyed by the success, SEA will be extending this program to Rajasthan. While the first program saw sowing over 300 hectares, under the extended program SEA aims at castor sowing on over 1,500 hectares of land.

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NMCE to Offer Deliverable Castorseed Contracts

The National Multi Commodity Exchange of India Ltd (NMCE) has announced modification in the castorseed contract, thereby making it deliverable as per the required market specifications. NMCE had constituted a Trade Advisory Committee (TAC) on castorseed for reviewing all the existing contract parameters of the contract and make them Castor-Oil-Seeds2deliverable.

The changes in the specifications were necessary to achieve wider participation from all the stakeholders. Currently, three futures contracts for November, December and January 2017 are active. The February 2017 series will be offered as per the delivery specifications.

Source

SEA Launches Pilot Project to Increase Castor seed Yield

Castor-Oil-Seeds2SEA has launched a pilot project in Gujarat to help farmers increase the productivity of castor seeds to 2,000 kg per hectare from the current average yield of 1,200-1,400 kg a hectare.

The model farm would be supervised by the agriculture scientists and progressive farmers. The beneficial results will motivate many farmers to replicate good practices demonstrated at the model farm and achieve higher yield.

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Castor Seed Price Weekly Report: May 09 – 13, 2016

CastorOil.in brings you the weekly report of castor seed price at Bombay Commodities Exchange.

Check out the table and the graphical data.

The closing price in the last week was Rs. 3250. This week, there was not much change in the price of castor seed. In general, the prices of castor seed had reduced this week, compared to last week.

Price Date Rupees Per Quintal
09 May 3240
10 May 3225
11 May 3215
12 May 3225
13 May 3240

Castor Seed Price Weekly Report: May 09 – 13, 2016

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Castor Bean Harvest in Full Swing in Tamil Nadu

Harvest of castor beans is being carried out in almost all the hamlets in Pachaimalai. The harvest process is being carried out only during late afternoon after allowing the seeds to dry. The oilseed is grown as an intercrop on the boundaries of tapioca farms along castor-seeds_10421148_250x250with local seeds.

Lack of attractive price for castor had forced the farmers to reduce the area under cultivation. An estimated 40 hectares has been brought under castor cultivation as against 200 hectares till a decade ago.

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SEA Estimates Castor Seed Production to Rise By 10% at 1.39 Million Tonnes

Solvent Extractors’ Association of India has estimated castor seed production to rise by 10% at 1.39 million tonnes for the year 2015-16. In 2014-15, the castor seed SEAproduction stood at 1.27 million tonnes.

As per the latest SEA report, sowing of castor seed crop increased to 1.13 million hectares this year, as against 1.10 million hectares last year. It is expected that castor seed production in Gujarat will increase by 8% to 1.15 million tonnes as against 1.06 million tonnes last year.

Source

Students Mistake Castor Seed for Lychee Seed, Treated for Ricin

Castor-Oil-Seeds2This post has little to do with the castor industry and more with a fascinating aspect of castor seeds – the fact that they look rather cool while at the same time containing ricin.

Came across an interesting news item on this – a bunch of students in Canada mistook castor seeds for lychee seeds and consumed them.

Now, it is not exactly easy to consume castor seeds – they are really tasty, that is for sure – but somehow these lads had consumed them. Thankfully, everything ended well after this mistake was discovered early and the students were treated.

But it once again throws light one of the very few concerns that folks have with the castor crop – its poisonous seeds.

Many times, I ask about this to farmers in India who grow castor and they say that they rarely if ever have heard of any humans eating these by accident and falling ill or worse. In fact, they mention that even animals do not eat them as these are not edible seeds and the animals sense that these seeds are not good. (even if you ingest them accidentally, the ricin takes effect only if you chew and masticate the seeds)

So, overall one can perhaps say that the castor seeds in theory seem to pose some danger but unless used intentionally (and they have been – see here and here), its ricin seems to have done little damage so far.

How the students mistook castor seeds for lychee seeds is a bit intriguing, though I must say the seeds do have some similarities

Castor Seed Images – Image 1 & Image 2

Lychee Seed Images – Image 1 & Image 2

New Disease Resistant Castor Seed to Yield 1800 Kg / hectare

Castor-Oil-Seeds2Highlights

  • The new HCH-6 seeds have been developed by scientists at UAHS, Shivammoga
  • Yield in the case of traditional varieties said to be declining by the year owing to disease
  • Farm trial of new varieties have been completed and the hybrid castor seeds could yield up to 30% higher output
  • They are awaiting official approval for release

Scientists at the University of Agricultural and Horticultural Sciences (UAHS), Shivamogga (Karnataka), have developed disease-resistant varieties of castor seeds.

Castor seeds are widely cultivated in dry regions of Chitradurga, Davangere and Tumakuru districts. However, the yield of castor seed has been waning owing to fusarium wilt and white fly infection.

Scientists at zonal agricultural and horticultural research station of the university at Hiriyur have developed a disease-resistant and high-yield variety of castor seed named HCH (Hybrid Castor Hiriyur)-6, which is a fusion of DPC-9 and TMV-6 varieties. If cultivated as a solo crop, the yield of HCH-6 variety is said to be around 18 quintals a hectare of land, while it was around 13-14 quintals a ha in other existing varieties.

(A quintal equals 100 Kg)

As part of the farm trial, Lakshmanappa, a farmer from Holalkere in Chitradurga district, who had cultivated HCH-6 variety of castor in his land, said that the yield had increased by around 22 per cent and the plants were free from wilt infection.P. Narayanaswamy, Director of Research, UAHS, Shivamogga, said that KPR-1 paddy and HCH-6 castor seeds would be released after getting approval from the State-level Variety Release Committee and the Central Sub-committee on Crop Standards, Notification and Release of Varieties. The seeds of both the varieties would be released by June, 2016, he said.

If indeed the castor seed yields could be increased to 1.8 tons/hectare, this could be a big boost to farmers, as the country’s average is hovering only about 1.3-1.4 T/hectare as mentioned earlier. And with the castor seeds seeing an overall upswing in prices in the past few years and hovering at about Rs 40/Kg (though 2015 saw slightly lower prices than 2014), such increases in yields could result in many more farmers taking up castor cultivation.

Source: The Hindu