Mangoes have started coming in the local market but the arrivals have not yet picked up. The prices have been ruling on the higher side from the beginning of the season.

Usually, arrivals gain momentum from the second week of April, but this season due to late flowering the arrivals have been delayed by a few weeks.

Mango is cultivated in 65,000 hectares in Krishna district and it is sent to the upcountry markets from Nuzvidu railway station and also by trucks to different parts of the State. This season, due to low night temperatures and unfavourable climatic conditions, flowering was delayed and there was also an attack of various pests such as thrips, mango hopper and fruit borer. The average yield is 8-10 tonnes per hectare.The overall production may be down 20 per cent or so compared with last year, according to sources in the Agriculture Department. This factor, coupled with delayed arrivals, has pushed up prices from the beginning. The retail and wholesale prices are high.

Banganapalli  variety

Banganapalli is the fancied variety sent to the upcountry markets and exported to other countries on a limited scale. Currently, it is fetching well above Rs 25,000 a tonne in wholesale market and in the retail outlet it is selling at Rs 300-350 a dozen. However, as the arrivals increase in the last week of April and in May, there may be some slump, but not a drastic one, according to sources. Only one rake has been despatched from the Nuzvidu railway station to the upcountry markets this season so far.

The other varieties – Totapuri and Rasalu – are consumed within the State and they are also fetching good prices. The wholesale prices of Totapuri are in the range of Rs 13,000-14,000 a tonne and Rasalu is fetching Rs 15,000 or above a tonne.

Export target

The Horticulture Department has set itself a target of facilitating export of 300 tonnes this year as against only 80 tonnes last year and 120 tonnes the year before.

In spite of the best efforts of the AP Horticulture Department, the direct exports from this region have never really picked up. The upcountry merchants, who purchase from here, export the fruit to other countries from the North.

A heat vapour treatment plant has been established at Nuzvidu to facilitate exports to Japan. However, these steps have not really resulted in the desired spurt in exports. There is a view that instead of exporting raw fruit to other countries, the Government should encourage the private sector to set up processing facilities to maximise returns to farmers.

Source : The Hindu Business Line

The Agriculture Ministry has projected a record wheat crop of 80.98 million tonnes (mt) this crop year ending June, despite indications to the contrary from the market.

The estimated output is against last year’s record production of 80.68 mt.

The wheat trade was, however, unimpressed with the record projection. Going by the arrivals in Punjab markets and the slowdown in procurement, it is convinced that the crop would be a couple of million tonnes lower.

Wheat procurement on Tuesday was 21.04 mt lower than that in the same period a year-ago. With the carryover stocks being huge, there should be no worry for the Centre if the final production were to be lower.

According to the Ministry’s estimates, foodgrain production in this crop year will be lower at 218.19 mt against 234.47 mt, due mainly to the kharif crop being hit by a prolonged dry period. Cereals production has been estimated at 219.90 mt (203.42 mt).

Barring wheat, soyabean and cotton, production of almost all crops has been affected.

With rabi production being better (14.53 mt vs 14.27 mt), rice output this year is seen at 89.31 mt against a record 99.18 mt last year.

Coarse cereals are projected to drop to 23.20 mt against 28.54 mt a year ago with all showing a slippage.

Pulses production has continued to show improvement for the second consecutive year, thanks to a record production of gram (chickpea) at 7.38 mt against 7.06 mt a year ago.

Output of other pulses such as tur (2.56 mt v 2.27 mt) and urad (1.29 mt vs 1.17 mt) also showed an improvement but moong dropped to 0.73 mt (1.04 mt).

Oilseeds production has been projected lower by 2.3 mt at 25.40 mt. Soyabean output is estimated at 10.54 mt, the highest after 10.98 mt produced in 2007-08.

The production of castorseed (1 mt vs 1.13 mt), sesamum (0.61 mt v 0.75 mt) and mustard (6.59 mt v 7.20 mt) all declined.

Cotton production has been projected at 254.07 lakh bales (of 170 kg) against 277.19 lakh bales this year. This is surprising since the Cotton Advisory Board that comprises the Government, farmers, industry and trade representatives has projected a higher crop of nearly 300 lakh bales this year.

Sugarcane production is seen lower at 274.65 million tonnes against 285 million tonnes a year ago.

 Source: The Hindu Business Line

Chennai: If sowing intentions of farmers are any indication, then the upcoming kharif season is likely to witness a changing pattern in the coverage of various crops. Growers could shift to cash and remunerative crops.

Upper most in the minds of the farmers is the price they are likely to get when their crops are harvested. The other factors that can influence the kharif sowing pattern are huge carryover stocks as in the case of oilseeds and maize.

A normal monsoon is likely to see the area under rice returning to usual levels. But it is likely that farmers will not go in for pusa 1121 aggressively like last year. Farmers growing this aromatic variety are seen shifting to traditional basmati rice or even sugarcane in some cases.

Notwithstanding the ban on cotton exports, the area under the natural fibre is set to gain. This is in view of the good domestic demand that is seen keeping cotton prices at current highs.

In fact, cotton could gain at the cost of crops such as groundnut in Gujarat. Oilseeds coverage may fall this year. A major reason is the nearly 20 million tonnes of uncrushed seeds. Some farmers in Madhya Pradesh, the soyabean hub of the country, say that nearly half of what they produced last year is still with them.

In Gujarat, the poor yield of last year is turning growers away from groundnut to cotton, jeera and amaranth. Coarse cereals could lose out to remunerative pulses. A fall in maize (corn) exports from the levels witnessed in the last two years and huge stocks with growers are likely to force a change in favour of pulses or guar.

Pulses crops such as moong and urad are seen gaining because of the current market prices that are seen very attractive.

Source: The Hindu Business Line