The state governments along with oil palm processing companies have initiated a mega plantation drive to further increase the area under oil palm cultivation in the country.
Three major oil palm processing companies- Patanjali Food Pvt. Ltd., Godrej Agrovet, and 3F are actively promoting and participating with the farmers in their respective states for record area expansion, said a Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare release.
The mega plantation drive commenced on 25 July and will continue till 12 August 2023.
“The drive started on 25th of July 2023 in the Rest of India (RoI) states i.e., Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Goa, Karnataka, and will continue till 08-08-2023 and will cover an area of almost 7000-hectare area out of which more than 6500 ha is targeted to be covered by Andhra Pradesh and Telangana,” said the release.
With an aim to increase the oil palm production area to 10 lakh hectares, and boost the crude palm oil production to 11.20 lakh tonnes by 2025-26, the government launched National Mission for Edible Oils- Oil Palm in August 2021.
The major oil palm growing states, namely, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Karnataka, Goa, Assam, Tripura, Nagaland, Mizoram, and Arunachal Pradesh are participating in this plantation initiative.
India is the world’s second-largest consumer and number one vegetable oil importer, and it meets 60 per cent of its need through imports.
A large part of it is palm oil and its derivatives, which are imported from Indonesia and Malaysia. India majorly consumes mustard, palm, soybean, and sunflower-derived edible oils.
Separately, in line with the decline in international prices and the continuous policy interventions made by the central government, edible oil prices in India have declined considerably.
In a written reply in response to a question in the Parliament on Wednesday, Minister of State for the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti said retail prices of refined sunflower oil, refined soybean oil and RBD palmolien (a derivative of oil palm) have decreased by 29.04 per cent, 18.98 per cent and 25.43 per cent respectively over a year.
The minister said the Centre is closely monitoring the domestic prices of edible oils to ensure that the full benefits of the decrease in international prices are passed on to the end consumers.
As part of the process, regular meetings are being conducted with leading edible oil associations and industry wherein they are being advised to decrease the retail prices in line with falling international prices.