India is one of the largest rapeseed‐mustard growing countries in the world,occupying the first position in area and second position in Production after China.The world production of Rapeseed/Mustard has been increasing at a rapid rate inseveral countries largely in response to the continuing increase in demand foredible oils and its products.
In India, Rajasthan occupies the first place both in terms of cultivated area and production accounting for over 45% followed by Madhya Pradesh with 13%. Haryana and Uttar Pradesh occupy the third place contributing for 11% of total production each. Thus, the top four states produce about 80% of total rapeseed & mustard production in the country. Major domestic spot markets areSriganganagar, Jaipur, Kota, Alwar, CharkhidadriandDelhi.
The sowing of the seeds is done after the harvest of the Kharif crop in the month ofNovember and is mainly cultivated on irrigated land. Rape/Mustard seed is a rabi crop i.e. the plantation of the Rape/Mustardseed is done in the winter (October, November and December) and that is why it ispreceded by light showers. These showers come at the onset of the sowingseason. The light showers allow right quantity of moisture to be left in the soil,thereby enabling flowering of the crop. The flowering of the crop takes place in themonths of November, December, January and February and the harvest season isin the months of March, April and May.
Rapeseed oil is obtained from crushed rapeseed bypressing or extraction. It is a light yellow to brownish yellow oil. Rapeseed oil isone of the most important vegetable oils in India.Rape oil is obtained from the seeds of several species of Brassica, and the oil fromdifferent species is not distinguished on the market, since all have similarproperties. Rapeseed oil is similar to mustard seed oil.Oil is extracted by rolling the seed to fracture the seed coat and rupture the oilcells.For centuries, humans and animals could not consume rapeseed oil, as it had higherucic acid content. However, rapeseed varieties are now available for cultivationwhich has lower erucic acid content.
Total production of Rapeseed-Mustard in India including Rabi and kharif crop (Kharif Toria cropcultivated in UP) for the year 2016-17 is 72,29,000tonnes. Out of this, estimated total production of Rapeseed-Mustard Rabi crop in India for the year 2016-17 is 71,09,000 tonnes with an average yield of 1069kg/hectare.
Rapeseed‐mustard crops are important forthe Indian economy, since India imports large quantities of edible oils despitehaving the largest area of cultivated oilseeds in the world. In the recent past, thecountry has grown to become one of the major vegetable oil importers due to adecline in oilseeds production and a steady fall in international prices. China, Indiaand Japan are considered as net importers in the international Rapeseed Oil trade.