If the J&K government succeeds in its mega plan of making the oilseed industry a big economic cushion, it would be a big boost to the rural economy.
Oilseed production is an essential sector of agriculture in India, contributing significantly to the country’s economy. India is one of the largest producers of oilseeds in the world, with an annual production of around 37-38 million metric tons. However, despite this, India is the largest importer of vegetable oils followed by the USA and China.
Jammu and Kashmir is known for its diverse agro-climatic conditions that provide a suitable environment for cultivation of various crops, including oilseeds. To promote oilseed cultivation in the region, the J&K government has taken several initiatives under the Holistic Agriculture Development Program (HADP). The government intends to bring 210 Th Ha under oilseed cultivation from the current 140 Th Ha over the next three years. About 202.50 Th Ha shall be covered under rapeseed and mustard cultivation and 7.50 Th Ha shall be covered under sesame seed cultivation.
70,000 Ha of additional areas shall be covered in potential oilseed districts like Kathua, Samba, Jammu, Udhampur, Rajouri, Reasi, Anantnag, Kulgam, Pulwama, Budgam, and Ganderbal and districts like Shopian, Bandipora, Ramban, and Doda, by utilizing fallow lands, culturable waste lands and leveraging increased cropping intensity apart from promoting intercropping systems. More than 50% of the net sown area in Jammu division is rain-fed. Therefore, this project aims to promote crop diversification by cultivating sesame seed as a Kharif crop in Kandi and rain-fed areas of Jammu division.