MP: Hit By Low Return, High Input Cost, Soybean Farmers Switch To Maize, Paddy

MP: Hit By Low Return, High Input Cost, Soybean Farmers Switch To Maize, Paddy

Erratic rainfall patterns, temperature variations throughout critical stages of plant growth, relative humidity, etc. not only hinder productivity but also lead to high stress that results in reduced production.

Staff ReporterUpdated: Saturday, June 08, 2024, 11:55 PM IST
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MP: Hit By Low Return, High Input Cost, Soybean Farmers Switch To Maize, Paddy | FP Photo

Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): The area under cultivation of soybean, one of the most economically important crops in the state, will reduce as the crop is in danger of losing its resilience. The state has research facilities, but fails to provide erratic weather-resistant varieties of soybean. 

With 55,000 to 60,000 lakh hectare of area, the state has been the largest in terms of area under soybean cultivation, followed by Maharashtra (46.01 lakh hectare), Rajasthan (10.62 lakh hectare), Karnataka (3.82 lakh hectare), Gujarat (2.24 lakh hectare) and Telangana (1.51 lakh hectare). According to farmers, increasing input costs, low return and substandard seeds are major factors to switch over from soybean to other Kharif crops like paddy and maize. 

Erratic rainfall patterns, temperature variations throughout critical stages of plant growth, relative humidity, etc. not only hinder productivity but also lead to high stress that results in reduced production. Because of the increasing risk in the production, farmers in some areas have shifted to corn or jowar in recent years.

The monsoon is crucial to the rain-fed crop and the yield is impacted by climate conditions as well as the expansion and contraction of the area of cultivation. When the monsoon is exceptional, farmers assign more land to the crop, but when the conditions are worse, they reduce it, which has an impact on the overall production.

‘Not getting better varieties of seeds’

Former agriculture director GS Kaushal said, “High input cost, low returns are major factors to switch over from soybean to paddy, maize and other Kharif crops. We have research facilities but we do not get better varieties of soybean, which can yield 30 quintal per hectare. Earlier, we used to get not only oil, but also export soybean cake (khali) and the farmers used to get better returns. Now, exports have come to an end and the farmers are in loss.”

‘Yield decreased’

Kedar Sirohi, farmer, said, “Best soybean yields 25-30 quintal per hectare, but we hardly get 10 quintal. Second, substandard seeds yield poor production. Farmers are not getting proper returns for soybean cultivation.”

‘Govt should support farmers’

Bharatiya Kisan Sangh(BKS) state president Kamal Singh Anjana said, “The government should support farmers. In Maharashtra, deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis admitted that as the government did not provide ‘bhavantar’, they suffered the ire of farmers. Policy measures should be directed towards the stabilisation of soybean production and popularising the crop in non-traditional areas also. But it is pathetic that soybean, which was once an economically important crop for the state, is in danger of losing its resilience.”

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