Solvent Extractors' Association of India (SEA) has estimated castor seed production to rise by 10 per cent stand at 1.39 million tonnes for the year 2015-16. As against this, in 2014-15, castor seed production stood at 1.27 million tonnes.
As one of its activities, SEA conducts castor crop estimation in Gujarat, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh every year. For the same, SEA had commissioned Nielsen India to conduct a crop estimation study for the commodity in producing states.
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 in last year. Apparently, reduced water availability led to farmers turning castor crop sowing this year.
"Monsoon was not good in castor producing states mainly in Gujarat. Castor does not need much water which increased the area translating into higher production this year," the association stated.
As per the report, castor seed production in Gujarat will increase by 8 per cent to 1.15 million tonnes as against 1.06 million tonnes of last year.
Area under castor crop registered higher by 6 per cent to 781,000 hectares which was stood at 734,000 hectares in 2014-15.
At Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, castor production has been estimated to be up by five per cent to 79,000 tonnes as against 75,000 tonnes. Sowing also gained from 111,000 hectares to 114,000 hectares.
However, for the Rajasthan, the report stated a negative production due to decline in sowing area. SEA report estimated 13 per cent fall in production to 144,000 tonnes for the year 2015-16 in Rajasthan. Last year production was 165,000 tonnes.
Till date the study has been carried out in major districts of Gujarat, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh in three field survey rounds during October 2015 - February 2016 to assess the crop. Since the castor crop cycle is long, two more rounds will be conducted in March and May in Gujarat and Rajasthan to re-assess the crop estimates which may be revised if necessary.