National Dairy Development Board to focus on giving oilseeds production a push

BL Bengaluru Bureau | | Updated on: Jun 27, 2022

Partners with KOF, University of Agriculture Science, Bengaluru and Indian Institute of Oilseeds Research to enhance sunflower seeds output

In a move aimed at achieving self-sufficiency in edible oils, the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) has decided to give oilseeds production a push across the country.

As part of the initiative, NDDB and the Karnataka Oilseeds Federation (KOF) have signed an MoU with the University of Agricultural Sciences, Bengaluru, and the Indian Institute of Oilseeds Research, Hyderabad, for enhancing the production of sunflower seeds in Karnataka. This agreement is aimed at paving the way for licensing sunflower hybrid KBSH-41 for commercialisation.

The MoU was signed in the presence of Shobha Karandlaje, Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, B C Patil, Agriculture Minister, Karnataka, Annasaheb Jolle, Chairman KOF, and Meenesh Shah, Chairman, NDDB, and S Rajendra Prasad, Vice-chancellor, UAS-Bangalore.

Lauds NDDB

Karandlaje said this momentous occasion is the right step towards achieving self-sufficiency in edible oil production in the country. She sought NDDB’s intervention in reducing the country’s reliance on imported edible oil and applauded Board’s intent to help the oilseed sector. The availability of credible sources of hybrid seeds has become a big lacuna, Karandlaje said, appreciating the joint efforts of NDDB and KOF to take up commercial production of successful sunflower hybrid seeds, so that farmers get superior seeds.

Patil said the hike in MSP by the Indian government has motivated farmers to enhance sunflower production in Karnataka. The compulsion to rapidly increase the domestic edible oil production is an opportunity to improve livelihoods of small and marginal farmers.

Attaining self-sufficiency

NDDB Chairman Shah said in the eighties, NDDB was involved in setting up edible oil cooperatives under Operation Golden Flow. The Dairy Board is re-engaging itself. This is a small but critical first step towards supporting the government’s initiative in attaining self-sufficiency in edible oils, Shah said.

NDDB and KOF will encourage farmers to take up sunflower as a preferred crop by making available high-quality seeds at reasonable prices. NDDB will work with KOF for production of 5,000 quintals of hybrid sunflower seeds in rabi 2022, which would be enough for sowing in about one lakh hectare. This will be further scaled up in Karnataka and also replicated for other oilseeds such as groundnut and mustard in other States.

Jolle said NDDB has already initiated a number of measures to support KOF. He further said that considering the Ukraine crisis, there is a huge shortage of sunflower oil. This has led to higher prices of sunflower seeds. Our farmers can restart sunflower seed production to earn profits, Jolle said.

Prasad said NDDB and KOF have approached UAS-B for the commercial production of successful sunflower hybrid seeds. Thus, the agreement will re-initiate large scale sunflower hybrid seed production.

Published on June 27, 2022
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