Area under guar crop in Haryana is unlikely to reach targeted level of 3 lakh hectares this season due to shift in area by farmers to other crops like pulses, paddy and bajra.

Traders said that fall in guar acreage may lead to firming up of guar seed and guar gum prices in coming months.

“We do not think the area under guar crop will reach 3 lakh hectares this season ... rather it (area) will restrict to 2.50 lakh hectares primarily due to shifting of area to other crops by farmers,” Sirsa based Guar trader Prem Kandoi said on Wednesday.

“Farmers prefer to sow bajra, pulses like moong and moth and even paddy for fetching remunerative returns,” an expert pointed out.

Haryana, which contributes 25 per cent of country’s guar output, had set a target to sow guar over 3 lakh hectares this season with estimated production of 3.60 lakh tonnes against 2.52 lakh hectares brought last year.

Sowing of guar crop starts in June end which goes till first week of August.

With decline in area under guar, prices of guar seed and guar gum are likely to soar in the month of September, traders said. “There is a huge shortage of guar seed being witnessed in the market which will cause increase in its prices,” a trader said.

Against the current level of Rs 2,310 per quintal, experts estimate rates of guar seed to touch a level of Rs 3,000 a quintal in September. “If there is no rain in September then the prices will further soar,” said a guar trader. The rate of guar gum is ruling at Rs 5,525 a quintal in spot market.

Haryana, the second largest producer of guar seed after Rajasthan, sows guar mainly in southern belt of the state including Sirsa, Hisar, Bhiwani, Rewari, Narnaul, Dadri and other areas adjoining Rajasthan.

Area under guar surged from 2.95 lakh hectares in 2006-07 to 3.41 lakh hectares in 2007-08. In 2008-09, it achieved record output of 6.02 lakh tonne with an area under cultivation of 3.71 lakh hectares.

However, in 2009-10, guar area shrunk to 2.52 lakh hectares with output of 3.29 lakh tonne.

Guar is a raw material to produce guar gum. Guar gum is used as a thickening agent and additives in food products such as soups, sauces, milk and cheese products, processed meat products etc. It also has a use in textile, pharmaceutical and paper industry.