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Centre Plans to Boost Oilseed Cultivation to Cut Imports

With a move to reduce dependence on import, the Centre is planning to give a push to oilseeds cultivation aiming to lessen the country’s dependence on edible oil imports after achieving self-sufficiency by incentivizing production of pulses.

Pronami Chetia

With a move to reduce dependence on import, the Centre is planning to give a push to oilseeds cultivation aiming to lessen the country’s dependence on edible oil imports after achieving self-sufficiency by incentivizing production of pulses.  

“The government is fully interested in promoting oilseeds now and various options are being explored,” Parshottam Rupala, Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, told in front of media on the sidelines of the World Seed Congress 2019. 

Rupala said that the government wants to cut down the huge edible oil import bill, which exceeds Rs. 60,000 crore per year. Besides focusing on improving the productivity, output and expanding the cultivation in the irrigated areas, the government also proposes to incentivize farmers to take up oilseeds, Rupala said. 

The minister added that the success achieved in pulses production by incentivizing the farmers could be replicated in the area of oilseeds. 

As per a report, pulses output saw a major increase after the Centre increased the minimum support price (MSP) and strengthened the procurement mechanism. Pulses production rose from 16.3 million tonnes in 2015-16 to 25.42 million tonnes in 2017-18, an increase of 55 percent over three years.  

Oilseeds production has gone up from 25.1 million tonnes during 2003-04 to around 32.26 million tonnes during 2018-19. 

However, the production has been stagnant over the past three years, drifts around 31-32 million tonnes. 

India’s edible oil consumption is estimated at around 22 million tonnes a year. Over two-thirds of the edible oil requirement is met through imports, entailing a huge foreign exchange outgo. The domestic production of edible oils is estimated to be between 6-7 million tonnes 


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