The Centre on Thursday said it has chalked out a multi-pronged strategy to bring in an additional 6.37 lakh hectare area under oilseeds in the forthcoming Kharif (summer) season beginning July this year. That apart, the government has decided to freely distribute high-yielding varieties of oilseeds, especially soybean and groundnut, to farmers in Kharif season 2021-22.
Last year, oilseeds were sown in 208.2 lakh hectare during the kharif season and 80 lakh hectare in the rabi (winter) season. In a statement, the agriculture ministry said it has adopted a "multi-pronged strategy'' to achieve self-sufficiency in oilseeds production.
"Government of India has approved an ambitious plan for free distribution of high-yielding varieties of seeds to the farmers for the 2021 kharif season in the form of mini-kits," it said.
The special kharif programme will bring an additional 6.37 lakh hectare area under oilseeds and is likely to produce 120.26 lakh quintals of oilseeds and edible oil amounting to 24.36 lakh tonne, it added. After consultations with state governments, the ministry said a plan has been framed to distribute soybean and groundnut oilseeds for free to farmers under the National Food Security Mission (Oil Seeds and Oil Palm).
Soybean seeds, costing Rs 76.03 crore, will be distributed for intercropping in 41 districts of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Karnataka, Telangana and Chhattisgarh. This will cover 1.47 lakh hectare.
Further, soybean seeds -- costing Rs 104 crore -- will be distributed for high potential districts in 73 districts of 8 states namely Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Telangana, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Gujarat, covering 3,90,000 hectare.
About 8.16 lakh seed mini-kits will be distributed in 90 districts of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Telangana Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, UP and Bihar. The area to be covered will be 10.06 lakh hectare. "The soybean seeds to be distributed will be having a yield of not less than 20 quintals per hectare," the ministry said.
The distribution of seeds for intercropping and high potential districts will be through the state seed agencies and for the mini-kits will be through the central seed producing agencies. In case of groundnut, the ministry said about 74,000 groundnut seed mini-kits will be distributed in Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
The government through the National Mission on Oilseeds and Oil Palm aims to augment the availability of edible oils and reduce their imports.
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