Indian government fixes record 447 lakh tonnes target for oilseeds production in 2024-25

Amid a thrust on making the country self-sufficient in edible oils, the government has fixed a 447.5 lakh tonnes (lt) record target of oilseeds production for the 2024-25 crop year (July-June). However, the focus has remained confined to top producing States whereas experts suggest area expansion in non-traditional States to raise production.

The State-wise distribution of targets for the major three oils — mustard, soyabean and groundnut — shows that the top producers will have to ensure that they realise their potential which got disturbed in the last few years due to floods and drought.

According to the Agriculture Ministry’s target for oilseeds production during 2024-25, an estimated 106.45 lt of groundnut (including 90.45 lt from the kharif season), 158 lt of soyabean, 138 lt of mustard, 25.30 lt of castor, 11.70 lt of seasmum and 4.51 lt of sunflower may be produced.

State-wise target

The government has fixed a target of 67 lt of soyabean for Madhya Pradesh, 65 lt for Maharashtra and 12 lt for Rajasthan. In 2023-24, soyabean production was hit due to drought and dropped to 51.29 lt from 57.89 lt in Madhya Pradesh and to 52.69 lt from 66.16 lt in Maharashtra.

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In mustard crop, the production target for the largest producing State, Rajasthan, has been fixed at 63 lt for next year, up from 58.44 lt and 19 lt for Madhya Pradesh against its actual production of 16.65 lt. For Uttar Pradesh, the target is set lower at 16.4 lt against actual production of 17.5 lt.

There is a target of 43 lt of groundnut production fixed for Gujarat, which is the top producing State of peanut, followed by 16 lt for Rajasthan and 9.6 lt for Tamil Nadu. The actual production of groundnut is likely to be released this week along with other crops when the Agriculture Ministry updates the crop production with summer season’s output.

Tapping rice fallows

The government is likely to announce the National Oilseeds Mission during the regular Budget for 2024-25 where the production target will be fixed for a 5-10 year period. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had announced in the interim Budget 2024-25 that a new scheme would unveiled for the edible oil sector, particularly to focus on raising the production of mustard, groundnut and soyabean. “There must be an action plan to encourage oilseeds cultivation in non-traditional States, wherever there is a possibility as more areas will have to be required,” said an agriculture scientist. He suggested rice fallows should be tapped for oilseeds.

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The Centre has been working on plan to bring the States having lower yield in oilseeds to be at par with the top State in productivity for which it wants to focus on supply of better seed varieties suitable for a particular geography as well as facilitating better management practice through involvement of Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) and State agriculture universities (SAUs). Even, the focus will be to balance the yield-gap between districts within a State.