Castor seed output in India is likely to decline by 40 per cent this year on lower acreage and unfavourable climatic condition in major producing states at the beginning of the sowing season.
Traders estimate total availability at 1.4 million tonnes this year, as compared with 2.4 million tonnes in the previous year. The crop sown in September is harvested through picking of seed in five–six trenches, the first of which begins in January.
Sowing area was lower this year by 35-40 per cent, coupled with decline in estimated yield due to inconsistencies in the monsoon in major growing regions. Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh, the two largest growing states, witnessed shortage of rainfall during the sowing period.
“Farmers could not sow castor seed even in their usual area, resulting in lower acreage. Yield is also expected to remain lower. Consequently, castor seed output is estimated to remain lower this year,” said Manoj Agarwal, director, Shivam Oil Mills, a Palanpur-based (Gujarat) edible oil producer and retailer.
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