When it comes to the production of Castor seed and its oil, then India is the global leader and it outshines the international trade of Castor oil. This oilseed is extracted from Castor, which is a Kharif crop whose sowing season is from July to October & the harvesting time is from October to April. Primarily, Castor is cultivated because of its oil that has extreme commercial importance. Some of the significant facts related to India's export rate of Castor, Castor Oil and Castor Seed are as follows:
- Around 2.0 - 2.4 lakh tons of commercial Castor oil
- Around 50,000 - 60,000 tons of Castor seed extractions
- Around 15,000 - 20,000 tons of Castor seed.
India's production of Castor moves reciprocally between 6 to 9 lakh tons annually. In the year 2003-2004, India's produced 8.04 lakh tons of Castor which increased to nearly 9.10 lakh ton in 2007-08. Castor produced in India has 48% oil content, out of which only 42% is extractable, and the remaining part is retained by the cake. The production of Castor oil requires perfect processing of the Castor seeds and hence various oil mills have been developed in different parts of India. In all the oil mills there are various machines installed for carrying out the production processes. These oil mill machinery are based on innovative technology and can be operated easily. Owing to the various oil mill machinery, India has gain a respectable position in the global arena for producing qualitative Castor seeds.
In India, Castor seed in mainly produced in three states – Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, and Rajasthan. The oil is produced by the extraction from the Castor seed and this oil is primarily exported, whereas its cake find usage as manure. A brief of Caster seed production in the aforesaid states is given below:
Castor seeds are developed throughout the Gujarat region. The production rate in this region increased to 6.50 lakh ton in 2007-08 from the previous rate of about 4.90 lakh ton in 2006-07. It has been estimated that in the coming years Castor seed production will reach around 8 lakh tons, since remunerative prices are being offered to the customers for their produce. This has motivated them in giving due importance to the cultivation of Castor seeds.
In India, this is the second largest producer of Castor seeds. In the time period of 2006-07 as well as in 2007-08, approximately 1.40 lakh ton Castor was produced, although the sowing area increased. It is expected that the production rate will increase to 1.70 lakh tons in the coming years.
It is the third largest Indian state to produce Castor seeds. The production rate in this region decreased to 90 thousand ton in 2007-08 from the previous rate of about 1.10 lakh ton in 2006-07. It is expected that the production rate of this Castor seeds in this state will further decrease to 70,000 tons, mainly due to insufficient rains.
Around 30,000 tons Castor seed is also produced in Maharashtra and some other states. India is the only exporter of Castor oil. However, some other countries are also produces it but that fulfills only their domestic demand.