The union Cabinet has approved the National Mission on Edible Oils Oil Palm (NMEO-OP) with a financial outlay of Rs 11,040 crore to promote domestic cultivation of oil palm in the next five years, and reduce the country’s dependence on edible oil imports. Of the total outlay, Rs 8,844 crore would be the central government’s share while Rs 2,196 crore would be states’ share. This includes the viability gap funding also, an official statement said. The new scheme will subsume the current National Food Security Mission-Oil Palm programme.
Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said the new scheme aims to cover oil palm in an additional area of 6.5 lakh hectare by 2025-26 and thereby reaching the target of 10 lakh hectares. With this, the domestic production of crude palm oil (CPO) is expected to go up to 11.20 lakh tonnes by 2025-26 and up to 28 lakh tonnes by 2029-30. At present, only 3.70 lakh hectares is under oil palm. Although there is scope for oil palm cultivation in the north east, it was not happening in the absence of processing industry and investment, he added.
The new scheme will have a special focus on the Northeastern region and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. It has a target of achieving oil palm coverage of 10 lakh hectares and that the “production of crude palm oil (CPO) is expected to go up to 11.20 lakh tonnes by 2025-26 and up to 28 lakh tonnes by 2029-30″.
BACKGROND: India is the world’s largest edible oil importer, depending on the countries such as Malaysia and Indonesia to meet about 60 per cent of its annual need. The annual demand for edible oil in India is of about 25 million tonnes of which the country had imported a little over 13 million tonnes in the 2019-20 (November-October) period. The bulk of the imports comprised palm oils, which reportedly accounted for 55 per cent of the shipments.