Arhar, soybean, sunflower acreage likely to remain less than last year

With sowing of many kharif crops completed in almost 70 per cent of the normal area, farmers would appear to be increasingly responding to price signals.Sowing will continue for some more weeks and should get a boost from monsoon revival. However, unless there is a big lift, the total area under arhar (red gram), soybean, groundnut and sunflower seems likely to remain less than last year, indicated official data issued on Friday. Sowing of many kharif crops is complete in almost 70 per cent of the normal area covered.Last year saw a sharp fall in prices of many crops, forcing central and state governments to intervene and purchase directly from farmers. In soybean, retail prices have remained around Rs 3,000 a quintal for two years. In arhar and moong (green gram), it dipped to around Rs 4,500 a qtl, much lower than the Centre’s minimum support price (MSP) of Rs 5,050 a qtl and Rs 5,225 a qtl, respectively. The MSP of soybean was Rs 2,775 a qtl for 2016-17. The price drop has also …

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