The importance and potential of rapeseed-mustard crop is well known as it is the key oilseed crop that can help in addressing the challenge of demand - supply gap of edible oil in India. It is world’s third most important source of edible oil after soybean and oil palm. Each and every part of the plant is of importance in the human livelihood. It is also utilized for flavouring, medicinal and preservative purposes since time immemorial. India is the third largest producer of rapeseed-mustard after Canada, China and contributing to around 11 % of world’s total production. Rapeseed-mustard are the important oilseed crops and also one of the second largest oilseed crops in India. Rapeseed–mustard crops in India are grown in diverse agro-climatic conditions ranging from north-eastern to north western hills and down south under irrigated/rainfed, timely/late sown, saline soils and mixed cropping. Indian mustard accounts for about 80% of total hectares under these crops in the country. Of the total area and production under the nine oilseeds crops grown in India, rapeseed-mustard accounts for 23.2% of the acreage and 26.2% of the production (2014-15 to 2018-2019). The average rapeseed-mustard yield in India is about 1499 kg/ha compared to the combined oilseeds crops average of 1265 kg/ha (2018-19). Although rapeseed-mustard is cultivated in majority of states of the country, bulk of the production comes from Rajasthan (44.97 %), Haryana (12.44 %), Madhya Pradesh (11.32%) Uttar Pradesh (10.60 %), and West Bengal (7.53 %) during (2014-15 to 2018-19). Nearly 74 per cent of the area under the crop is irrigated. During the last 20 years, persistent efforts of the scientists of ICAR-DRMR and AICRP-RM has lead to the development of several improved Rapeseed-Mustard varieties, crop production and protection technologies. The introduction of high-yielding rapeseed-mustard varieties, hybrids and refinement of the improved production and protection technologies by the Directorate has contributed significantly in improving the production and productivity of Rapeseed-Mustard in India besides enhancing quality of the produce.
P. K. Rai