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Edible Oil Sector in India

  Nov 09, 2022

Edible Oil Sector in India

Q. Why is this in News?

A. Recently, Centre pointed out that India is already importing and consuming oil derived from Genetically Modified (GM) crops in a plea challenging the clearance for environmental release of GM mustard.

  • Also, around 9.5 million tonnes (mt) of GM cotton seed is produced annually and 1.2 mt of GM cotton oil is consumed by human beings, and about 6.5 mt of cotton seed is consumed as animal feed.

Q. What is the State of Edible Oil Sector in India?

A. 

  • Place in Country‚Äôs Economy:
    • India is one of the largest producers of oilseeds in the world.
    • Oil sector occupies an important position in the agricultural economy.
    • It accounts for the estimated production of 36.56 mt of nine cultivated oilseeds during the year 2020-21 as per the data released by the Ministry of Agriculture.
    • India is the world's second-largest consumer and number one importer of vegetable oil.
  • The present rate of edible oil consumption in India surpasses the domestic production rate. Hence, the country has to rely on imports to meet the gap between demand and supply.
  • At present, India meets nearly 55% to 60% of its edible oil demand through imports. Therefore, India needs to be independent in oil production to meet the domestic consumption demand.
  • Palm oil (Crude + Refined) constitutes roughly around 62% of the total edible oils imported and are imported mainly from Indonesia and Malaysia, while Soyabean oil (22%) is imported from Argentina and Brazil and Sunflower oil (15%) is imported mainly from Ukraine and Russia.
  • Types of Oils Commonly Used in India:
    • In India, groundnut, mustard, rapeseed, sesame, safflower, linseed, niger seed and castor are the major traditionally cultivated oilseeds.
    • Soyabean and sunflower have also assumed importance in recent years.
    • Coconut is most important amongst the plantation crops.
    • Among the non-conventional oils, rice bran oil and cottonseed oil are the most important.
  • Export Import Policy on Edible Oils:
    • Import of edible oils is under Open General License (OGL).
    • In order to harmonize the interests of farmers, processors and consumers, Government reviews the duty structure of edible oils from time to time.

Q. What are the Related Government Initiatives?

A. 

  • The government of India launched National Mission on Edible Oils-Oil Palm as a centrally-sponsored scheme, being implemented jointly by the central and state governments with a special focus in the northeast region and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
    • It is proposed to have an additional 6.5 lakh hectares for palm oil by 2025-26.
  • In order to improve and systemize the data management system in the vegetable oil sector, the Directorate of Sugar & Vegetable Oils under Department of Food and Public Distribution has developed a web-based platform (evegoils.nic.in) for online submission of inputs by vegetable oil producers on monthly basis.
    • The portal also provides window for online registration and submission of monthly production returns.