Gujarat farmers bet on cumin, castor seeds despite drop in production

Market experts forecast is likely to be in short supply, which will push up prices. Though castor seeds production is likely to be high, yet it will keep the price stable because the castor stock is nil this year.

Unjha Agriculture Produce Market Committee vice chairman Arvind Patel told IANS, “Gujarat and Rajasthan farmers have cultivated cumin on 8,60,000 hectares of land, late winter is likely to damage cumin crop on 1,50,000 hectares, hence the total production is estimated to be one lakh bags less (one bag means 55 kg), in virtual figure some 5,500 metric tonnes less. The total production is expected to be around 3 to 3.30 lakh metric tonnes.”

On Thursday, in Muhurat trading, a farmer in Gondal market fetched Rs 36,000 for 20 kilograms. When the same cumin reached Unjha on Friday, it fetched Rs 51,000 for 20 kilograms.

Patel said if the production meets the estimate, cumin market price is likely to remain Rs 6000 to Rs 6300 for 20 kilograms. If the estimate of production proves wrong and there is good production, the cumin price will fall to Rs 5000 for 20 kg.

According to him, the entire 2023 is going to be buoyant for cumin, but it will face small hiccups from February to April, when the market is likely to be flooded with cumin.

Another cash crop is castor, where farmers will get good prices this year, hopes Jasubhai Patel of K Patel & Co of Visnagar Agriculture Produce Market Committee. He is expecting castor seeds price to remain Rs 1200 to Rs 1500 for 20 kg in this season. Last year the prices ranged between Rs 1100 to Rs 1200 for 20 kg.

In this season the market is expecting 19 lakh metric tonnes while the domestic market demand is around 8 lakh metric tonnes. Some 2 lakh metric tonnes stock will carry forward. Though production is high it will not have a negative impact on prices because many farmers don’t sell their crop, so it balances the demand and supply, keeping castor seeds’ price high, says Vinod Rajput, director of Gokul Agri International Ltd.

This is also the expectation of Mehul Desai, director of Aravalli Castor Products. He is also hoping that like 2022, in 2023 the demand and supply flow will be smooth and will keep the prices stable.


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