After giving an impetus to the pulse production, the central government is focussing on boosting oilseed output reports Business Line.
Strategies proposed includes promoting the cultivation of oilseeds in non-traditional areas. The government also plans to target paddy fallows to boost domestic production by 2020.
The Agriculture Ministry will elaborate on these strategies with the States at the National Conference on Agriculture for Rabi Campaign 2018-19 to be held in New Delhi. Further, schemes such as ‘Targeting Rice Fallow Areas’ (TRFA) are being proposed.
The total output of nine oilseeds (groundnut, soybean, sunflower, rapeseed & mustard, castor-seed, sesame, nigerseed and linseed) is pegged at 31 million tonnes for 2017-18. Edible oil is among the most significant items in India’s import basket after crude oil and gold.
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 soya bean in Telangana and Jharkhand, among others
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 70 per cent of its edible oil — about 14 million tonnes, valued at over ₹73,048 crore in 2016-17.
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