Bhubaneswar: The union ministry of agriculture has advised the Odisha government to promote soybean during the ensuing kahrif season.
The union agriculture commissioner SK Malhotra said strategically the nation is encouraging oilseeds production since most the edible oil demand is met through imports. Stating that the oilseeds production target has been fixed at 36 million tonne for 2018-19 while the estimated output was 29.9 million tonne this year, he urged the states to promote oilseeds through inter-cropping with pulses, cotton and coarse cereals.
“The states of Odisha, Jharkhand and Bihar have been asked to promote soybean, the major kharif oilseed which is mainly grown in Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan.”, Malhotra said.
The union agriculture ministry’s advisory is significant in view of the Budget announcement of MSP covering 50% over cost prices on food grains.
The union agriculture ministry has set a target of 283.7 million tone foodgrain production in 2018-19 crop year(July-June), an increase by 2% over the foodgrain oproduction last crop year. While the foodgrain output during kharif is expected to be 141.2 million tone, it is to be 142.5 million tonne in rabi during 2018-19. The rice production target for next year has been set at record 113 million tonne, including 98 million tonne from kharif season and 15 million tonne in rabi. India is estimated to have produced 111.01 million tonne rice in 2017-18.
Even though the 2017-18 witnessed a record food production, the ministry is confident of higher production in 2018-19 as the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has forecasted that the monsoon rainfall will be normal this season.
Discouring farmers for raising pulses, the ministry has set the target for the commodity at the same level 24 million tonne, against estimated production of 23.95 million tonne in 2017-18 for the reason crops like moong(green gram), urad, tur, masur and chana are being sold at 20-25% lower than their MSPs.