Farmers cut soy production, replace it with pulses


The area for soybean in Madhya Pradesh is likely to drop about 10 per cent in the summer sowing season due to poor remuneration.

Traditional soybean growers of the state, who contribute to about 70 per cent of the country's total output, are expected to shift to maize, pulses and cotton lured by attractive prices and better demand.

Soybean prices fell over 20 per cent this year as against the same period a year ago on higher outputs and below expected exports of soybean meal. While cotton prices rose about 27 per cent from a year ago in the same time period.

Kailash Agrawal, an agricultural expert said, "Area under soybean cultivation will drop this year as farmers did not get good money for their produce. Farmers will sow more pulses, maize and cotton this season."

Farmers will start sowing kharif crops such as soybean, maize, black gram and cotton from May end.

In Indore, soybean is sold at Rs 3,115 per quintal, down 27 per cent from a year ago, according to the National Commodity Exchange.

Industry experts said higher output of soybean in 2016 dampened prices.

Jahid Patel, a farmer from a village in Sanwer tehsil said, "I will cut down the area for soybean this season and replace it with maize and black gram. Soybean did not fetch good prices this season."

Patel had cultivated soybean on 4 hectares last season and this year he plans to reserve only 3 hectares for it.

The area under which soybean is grown is likely to drop in the entire country this kharif season, experts said.

DN Pathak, executive director, Soybean Processors Association of India (SOPA) said, "The area usage for soybean will drop this year but most of the cut is expected in Maharashtra as soil and environment in Madhya Pradesh is best suited to soybean."

Industry experts said monsoon will play a crucial role in deciding the agriculture pattern.

"The initial trend looks weak for soybean but a lot will be decided after monsoon rains. The risk is very less in soybean unlike other rival crops," Pathak said.


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