The upbeat kharif sowing statistics in India is likely to moderate the dependence on imported oil in the current year.

The data from the Ministry of Agriculture informed that the area under kharif oilseeds crop as on 19th August 2010 shows an increase of about 4 lakh hectares during the week and is reported at 161.40 compared to 153.19 lakh tonnes at the same time of the last year.

The data further, showed that the area under groundnut has increased to 48.01 lakh hectare compared to 37.14 lakh hectares during the corresponding period last year. In Andhra Pradesh, the Groundnut the acreage has sharply increased to 13.17 hectares compared to 5.21 lakh hectares last year.

Karnataka and Tamil Nadu have not lagged behind as the acreage in these areas too has increased on the back of early monsoon in Southern India. In Gujarat, however, the rise is marginal.

Meanwhile, Soyabean acreage in the key growing region of Madhya Pradesh has increased but marginally. The acreage has surged by 2.8 lakh hectares; however Maharashtra showed negative growth.

The farmers seem to have shifted to castor seed on the back of improved return from the crop. As a result the area under castor seed has shown sharp increase.

Considering the figures of acreage of the oilseed crops, the dependence on imports for edible oil seems to be easing in coming months. The normal area under oilseeds is about 173 lakh hectares. India imports about 8.9 million tonnes of edible oils annually. (With Geojit Inputs)