Mustard yield could surge by 35% in five years with ideal agronomic practices, finds study

BNE News Desk

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Jaipur: A recent study by the Solvent Extractors Association of India (SEA) revealed that the average mustard yield could witness a significant upsurge of 35 percent over a span of five years, provided ideal agronomic practices are adopted. The study, conducted in collaboration with the Solidaridad Network, spanned over 3,500 model farms across five major mustard-producing states, involving more than 125,000 farmers.

According to SEA's analysis, the pilot project, initiated in 2020-21 across 400 farms in Rajasthan, demonstrated promising results, showcasing an increase in average mustard yield from 1,787 kilograms to 2,414.8 kilograms in the model farms compared to regular ones. Notably, the study emphasized that the enhanced yields were achieved without the utilization of genetically modified (GM) seeds.

BV Mehta, Executive Director of SEA, underscored the significance of innovative farming practices and advanced technological adoption in achieving these substantial yield increments. The project not only provided techno-economic inputs but also facilitated farmer training through Farmers Field Schools (FFS) at the block level, serving as robust community institutions for knowledge sharing among farmers.

SEA's analysis further highlighted the economic viability of mustard cultivation, particularly in low monsoon and less irrigated regions, due to its higher returns and lower production costs. Moreover, the potential increase in mustard seed yield could contribute significantly to reducing India's import dependency on edible oils, which currently stands at around 60 percent of annual requirements.

In recent years, India has witnessed a notable growth in mustard seed production, rising from 8.6 million tonnes in 2020-21 to 11.35 million tonnes in 2022-23, with a corresponding increase in the cultivation area. The SEA projects a further increase in mustard seed production to reach a record high of 12 million tonnes in the current 2023-24 season, with a sowing area expected to reach 10 million hectares.

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BNE News Desk