No realistic plan of reducing import dependence in edible oils is possible without recognising the role of oil palm

Source: Indian express

What is the news?

Recently, the Government of India launched National Mission on Edible Oils-Oil Palm. The scheme aims at increasing the total area under oil palm from the current 3.5 lakh hectares (lh) to 10 lh by 2025-26.

Must read: Cabinet approves implementation of National Mission on Edible Oils- Oil Palm
Features of Oil Palm
  • It is a crop that can yield 20-25 tonnes of FFBs (fresh fruit bunches) per hectare
  • No other oilseed can give so much productivity per unit area of land
  • Mustard and groundnut yields aren’t more than 2-3 tonne per hectare and the oil recovery from that only at 35-40%

Hence, no realistic plan of reducing import dependence in edible oils for example 30-40% from the existing 60-70% is possible without recognizing the role of oil palm


Introduction of oil palm in tropical rainforests or biodiversity-rich areas such as the Andaman & Nicobar Islands and the Northeast has emerged as the biggest concern. It can lead to loss of forest cover and can threaten biodiversity in the region

Way forward

The crop is probably better suited for states such as Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Odisha. It can replace paddy and be grown using drip irrigation, mulching and other water-saving practices

  • India is anyway producing too much rice and any diversification must be welcomed.
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