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Oilseed Production has increased by 43% since 2015-16, as per Economic Survey

According to the fourth advanced estimates data from the Directorate of Economics and Statistics, which is available in the Economic Survey, the country's oilseed production in 2015-16 was 25.3 million tonnes (mt).

Shivam Dwivedi
Picture of Olive Oil
Picture of Olive Oil

Between 2015-16 and 2020-21, the country's oilseed production increased by 43%. According to the Economic Survey for 2021-22, India's oilseed production has steadily increased since 2016-17. Prior to that, it had a fluctuating trend.

According to the fourth advanced estimates data from the Directorate of Economics and Statistics, which is available in the Economic Survey, the country's oilseed production in 2015-16 was 25.3 million tonnes (mt). It increased to 31.3 mt in 2016-17, 31.5 mt in 2017-18, and 31.5 mt in 2018-19. It increased further, reaching 33.2 mt in 2019-20 and 36.1 mt in 2020-21.

Surge in Demand

The Economic Survey also stated that India's oil production has lagged behind its consumption, necessitating the import of edible oils.

While the country's edible oil production increased from 6.1 mt in 2015-16 to 7.9 mt in 2019-20, oil imports increased from 14.9 mt in 2015-16 to 15.6 mt in 2018-19 before falling to 13.4 mt in 2019-20.

According to the survey, as urbanization increases in developing countries, dietary habits and traditional meal patterns are expected to shift toward processed foods high in vegetable oil.

"As a result of high population growth and subsequent urbanization, vegetable oil consumption in India is expected to remain high." According to the OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook 2021-2030, India is expected to maintain a high per capita vegetable oil consumption growth of 2.6% per year, reaching 14 kg/capita by 2030, necessitating a high import growth of 3.4% per year."

Oilseed Mission

Given the government's continued reliance on imported edible oil, increasing oil production has been a top priority. It stated that the government has been promoting the production and productivity of oilseeds in all districts of India through the Centrally Sponsored Scheme of National Food Security Mission: Oilseeds (NFSM-Oilseeds) since 2018-19.

The National Mission on Edible Oils - Oil Palm (NMEO-OP) was launched in August 2021 to increase the availability of edible oil in the country through area expansion and price incentives. For the first time, the government is providing price assurance to oil palm farmers for fresh fruit bunches under the scheme (FFBs). This will be known as the viability price, and it will protect farmers from fluctuations in international crude palm oil (CPO) prices, according to the statement.

Crude Palm Oil

The Survey stated that oil palm produces 10-46 times more oil per hectare than other oilseed crops, implying that India has enormous potential for oil palm cultivation and CPO production. Oil palm produces approximately 4 tonnes of oil per hectare.

Given that approximately 98 percent of CPO is imported, the NMEO-OP may be considered a major government initiative, according to the report.

Only 3.70 lakh hectares of land are currently under cultivation for oil palm. The scheme aims to cover an additional 6.5 lakh hectares of oil palm land until 2025-26, bringing the total to 10 lakh hectares.

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