The area under guar seed cultivation has remained under stress this year. While Rajasthan, one of the key growing states, has seen a fall in acreage by eight per cent, Haryana has seen a 16 per cent decline, primarily because of scnaty rainfall.
The area under guar seed cultivation in Rajasthan this season stands at 2.76 million hectares, compared to 3 million hectares last season. In Haryana the area under guar has come down from 256,000 hectares registered last year to 215,000 hectares this year.
Rajesh Kedia, director, Jai Bharat and Chemical Limited, a company which exports guar products, said there was a marginal decline in guar seed output in Rajasthan but cultivation in Haryana has dipped significantly. The two states account for 80 per cent production of guar seed in India with a combined acreage of around 70 per cent under cultivation.
According to Kedia, the fall in acreage was due to insufficient monsoons in Haryana and also an increase in the area under cotton cultivation (due to higher remunerative prices for cotton last season) at the cost of guar seed in some pockets of Haryana. Sowing for guar, a kharif crop starts in July with the onset of monsoon.
Even as reports suggest that the area under guar is likely to remain under stress, P K Hissaria, president, All India Guar Gum Manufacturers Association, believes the area will rise by 15-20 per cent, with new areas in Rajasthan taking up guar farming this year.
Hissaria said pockets in Rajasthan like Udaipur, Chittorgarh, Kota and Ajmer have seen a rise in acreage. However, Rajasthan agriculture department officials said new areas that have come under guar cultivation will not help increase the output.
Guar seed cultivation in India was predicted to see an upward trend this year, with traders offering high prices for the crop last season. The remunerative prices fetched by guar farmers was primarily because of firming up guar derivates demand in the export market. The demand this year is 40-50 per cent more compared to the previous year, primarily fuelled by the oil and food industries that accounts for more than 60 per cent consumption of guar derivatives.
The guar gum manufacturing association had earlier said that exports of guar gum will increase to 350,000 tonnes, against 300,000 tonnes last year, which now could change owning to decline in guar acreage.