ROURKELA: Mustard farmers of Sundargarh district are upbeat about good earning as they expect high yield of the rabi crop this year.
During the rabi season, at least 6,000 farmers across the district had cultivated mustard on 8,400 hectares (ha) of land. Sundargarh-based Deputy Director of Agriculture KN Mohapatra said mustard is the second major crop of rabi season. Mustard as a cash crop promises good returns provided farmers have efficient field and crop management facility. Mohapatra said mustard yield per ha of irrigated land is eight to 10 quintals with the production cost of around Rs 10,000.
Similarly, non-irrigated land produces around five quintals at an investment of Rs 5,000. Mohapatra said the ideal time for mustard cultivation is October to November and the crop gets ready for harvest in 100 to 120 days.
Farmers in the district extract oil from mustard seeds for personal consumption and sell surplus oil for Rs 90 to Rs 100 per kg while the by-products are sold for Rs 15 to Rs 22 per kg. Apart from this, mustard seeds sell for Rs 30 to Rs 50 per kg.
A farmer of Lathikata block Bijay Xalxo said with assured irrigation facilities, he had cultivated mustard on 45 acres in two phases. While harvesting on 15 acres has been completed, crop cutting on the rest 30 acres is nearing end. Xalxo said mustard cultivation is easy and requires less cost in comparison to many other rabi crops.
Other small farmers of Panposh sub-division including Jugal Kishan of Beldihi, Ganesh Kujur and Chamu Mundari of Goibhanga, RC Ekka of Bolani and Jhirga Ekka of Timjor village who cultivated mustard crops on one or two ha said they are happy with the returns.
Panposh Agriculture Officer RK Mangal said all four blocks of the sub-division - Lathikata, Kuanrmunda, Bisra and Nuagaon - are reporting good harvest of mustard crop.