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Agriculture Ministry seeks to boost oilseeds output

Peanut Market News September 24, 2018

Agriculture Ministry seeks to boost oilseeds output

After giving a fillip to the production of pulses through various strategies, the Agriculture Ministry is focussing on boosting oilseeds production over the next four years.

The Ministry has proposed various strategies, including promoting the cultivation of oilseeds in non-traditional areas and cropping seasons besides targeting rice fallows to boost the domestic output, which could help reduce import dependence for edible oils by 2022. The Ministry will be deliberating on these strategies with the States at the National Conference on Agriculture for Rabi Campaign 2018-19 in New Delhi on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The Ministry has pegged the country’s total vegetable oil requirement at 33.2 million tonnes by 2022 as per the agenda note circulated for the rabi conference.

The current annual vegoil requirement is about 23 mt . The increase in the demand estimates by the Ministry assumes a per capita consumption of about 22 kg by 2022 from the level of 19 kg per person per annum during 2015-16.

The production of nine annual oilseed crops (primary source) has been targeted at 45.65 mt from which availability of vegetable oils would be about 13.69 mt by 2022 as against the current annual output of 7.31 mt.

Similarly, vegetable oil availability from secondary sources such as coconut, cotton seed, rice bran, solvent extracted oil (SEO) of tree and forest origin has been estimated at 5.22 mtby 2022 from the present level of 3.58 mt.

Big part of import basket

Total output of nine oilseeds (groundnut, soyabean, sunflower, rapeseed & mustard, castorseed, sesamum, nigerseed and linseed) is pegged at 31 mt for 2017-18 according to the fourth advanced estimates. Edible oil is among the largest items in India’s import basket after crude oil and gold.

Rising population and income levels are fuelling the demand for edible oil in India. Production of domestic edible oils has not kept pace with the growing demand, necessitating huge imports. India imports around 70 per cent of its edible oil requirement — about 14 million tonnes, valued at over ?73,048 crore in 2016-17.

The area under oilseeds has experienced a deceleration in general and this is due to their relatively lower profitability against competing crops such as maize, cotton and chickpea under the prevailing crop growing and marketing situations.

Besides, the majority of the oilseeds — around 70 per cent — are cultivated in the rainfed areas.

The Agriculture Ministry believes that there is scope for introducing different oilseeds crops in different zones and non-traditional areas. These include sunflower and groundnut during the spring season in the Indo-Gangetic plains and Uttar Pradesh; safflower in Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh; mustard in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka; and soyabean in Telangana and Jharkhand, among others.

It proposes to formulate a separate project ‘Oilseeds in Non Traditional Areas’ in consultation with States, targeting a production of 1.5 million tonnes from an area of 1 million hectares.

Further, the Ministry also proposes to expand the scheme of ‘Targeting Rice Fallow Areas’ (TRFA) for cultivation of oilseeds such as soyabean and groundnut in States such as Andhra Pradesj, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Gujarat, and the North East and Himalayan States, where large area of rice fallows are available. Presently, the TRFA is being implemented in about six eastern states.

Source: https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/economy/agri-business/agriculture-ministry-seeks-to-boost-oilseeds-output/article24970209.ece


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