India to Decrease VegOil Imports by 30%
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India is the largest importer of Vegetable Oil (15 percent globally), and import values range from ₹66,000-141,000 crores. Despite the Government’s effort to decrease the Vegetable Oil dependency on the world, India will still have to import 72 lakh tons of Vegetable Oil (lakh=100,000) at the value of ₹70,000 crores in 2030-31, which would be 23 percent of the total requirement of 300 lakh tons Vegetable Oils.
The data from the Oilseeds Division of the Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare show that import dependency will decrease to 23 percent in 2030-31 from 52 percent (2021-22). The outcome indicator presented by the Oilseeds Division shows that the Oilseeds area in the country will increase from 287.6 lakh hectares (2021-22) to 338.1 lakh hectares in 2030-31. The Oilseeds production will also increase from 385 lakh tons in 2021-22 to 602.2 lakh tons in 2030-31.
But at the same time, the Vegetable Oil requirement in the country will go up from 267.1 lakh tons in 2021-22 to 300 lakh tons in 2030-31. However, the production of Vegetable Oil will go up from 126.4 lakh tons to 228 lakh tons during the same period, leaving a gap of 72 lakh tons.
Palm Oil constitutes about 62 percent of the total Vegetable Oil imported. It is mainly sourced from Indonesia and Malaysia, while soyabean Oil (22 percent of total imports) is imported from Argentina and Brazil. Sunflower Oil (15 percent of total imports) is imported mainly from Ukraine and Russia. As per AgFlow data, India imported 10.6 million tons of Vegetable Oil in 2022. Palm Oil led the others with 5.3 million tons, followed by Soybean Oil (3.5 million tons) and Sunseeds Oil (1.7 million tons).
According to Government data, after the 2000s, there was a boom in Vegetable Oil consumption throughout the country. The per capita consumption, which was 7.3 kg/year in 1994-95, increased to 18.3 kg/year in 2014-15. The production of Oilseeds in the country could not keep pace with the increased demand. The Indian Council for Medical Research recommends 30g per person per day of Vegetable Oils (12 kg per person per year).
In India, Soybean contributes the highest towards Oilseeds production, while rapeseed and mustard produce the highest Vegetable Oil due to high Oil content (40 percent). Palm Oil is the most consumed Oil, but 96 percent is imported. According to the USDA, India produced 1.7 million tons of Soybean Oil in MY2021/2022, with 5.5 million tons of domestic consumption.
Oilseed growers and Oil producers highlight that the Government must address micro-irrigation, quality seeds, marketing infrastructure, and government policy issues to decrease import dependency. Technology and market support to farmers are the key to increasing Oilseed production, said experts. There is tremendous potential for enhancing the yield of nine Oilseed crops by adopting the technologies. The productivity gap between improved technology and farmers’ practices ranged from 21 percent in sesame to 149 percent in sunflower.
Indian Efforts to Increase Vegoil Output
The Government has been implementing a Centrally-sponsored scheme, National Food Security Mission — Oilseeds and Oil palm (NFSM-OS and OP), from 2018-19 to increase the production and productivity of Oilseeds in the country. The Government also launched a separate mission for Oil palm, National Mission on Vegetable Oils (Oil Palm) — NMEO (OP), in 2021-22. Both NFSM — Oilseeds and NMEO (OP) are being implemented in the country to augment the availability of Vegetable Oils by increasing the production and productivity of Oilseeds and Oil palm and reducing the import burden.
In a bid to control the continuous rise in cooking Oil prices — since the Government had earlier cut the primary duty on crude palm Oil, crude soyabean Oil, and crude sunflower Oil from 2.5 percent to nil — the agri-cess on these Oils has been brought to 5 percent.
Other sources: THE HINDU BUSINESS LINE
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