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- Oil palm is a low maintenance, high yield, perennial plantation crop. It is one of the essential food items such as onions and pulses and widely used by a majority of Indians.
- Palm oil is now widely used for blending and adulterating refined oils and is omnipresent in packaged and processed foods.
- Fresh fruit bunches of palm yield at least five times more oil per unit of land compared to other oil seeds.
- Cheap palm oil, nearly all of it imported, accounts for over a third of India’s edible oil consumption; overall, India imports 60% of its requirements.
- To add to this mix, India is also consuming genetically modified soy oil, which is imported from countries such as Argentina and Brazil.
- Together, imported palm and soy oil (12mt) account for close to half of India’s annual edible oil consumption, damaging the future prospects of home-grown oilseeds.