India’s vegetable oil imports dependency can be reduced to 38-40 per cent by 2029-30 by adopting mission on oilseeds, said the Indian Vegetable Oil Producers’ Association (IVPA).

Speaking at the Globoil India conference in Goa, Sudhakar Desai, President of IVPA, said India’s import dependency can be reduced from the existing 60-65 per cent to 38-40 per cent by adopting mission on oilseeds.

Projecting a best case scenario for 2030, he said the domestic output should be increased to 20.9 million tonnes (mt) by 2029-30 from 8.9 mt in 2020-21.

Explaining this for crops such as mustard and groundnut, he said the area under mustard crop needs to hiked from the present 90 lakh hectares (lh) to 150 lh by 2030. With this, India can target cultivating 22.5 mt of mustard seeds and 9 mt of mustard oil. He said the mustard oil production was at 3.2 mt in 2020-21.

Vegetable oil offtake

Similarly, the area under groundnut should be expanded from the current 51 lh to 61 lh by 2030. With this, India can target 11 mt of groundnut and 4.5 mt of groundnut oil. The groundnut oil output was at 0.7 mt in 2020-21.

He estimated the domestic vegetable oil consumption at around 33.8 mt by 2030 from 21.7 mt in 2020-21. The increase in the domestic output to 20.9 mt by 2029-30 from 8.9 mt in 2020-21 will help reduce the import dependency.

Stating that Indian oilseed acreages should shift towards strategic crops like groundnut, mustard, sunflower, soyabean and ricebran oil in that order, Desai said mustard, groundnut and ricebran oil etc should be the focus for the requisite support. Crop shift incentives can be handled by way of direct bank transfer and also income protection.

He suggested the need to focus on sunflower producing regions such as Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh to increase in domestic production and for import substitution.

GM crop technology

Stressing the need to implement GM (genetically modified) crop technology with a focus on mustard, soyabean and other oilseeds crops, he said India can be oilmeal exporter in a big way in Asia after fulfilling domestic demand.

He said the country should have a strategic focus on oilmeal, oilseed and oil exports. Soya and rapeseed meal exports will facilitate domestic crop growth in the longer term vision of the country, he said.

Oilseed crops should be made profitable and attractive for farmers by incentives, right risk mitigation, and stable and transparent import and export duty policy.

Urging the need to introduce stable and transparent import duty slab system, he said import duty/tariff should be linked with MSP and consumer index.

Desai said local exchanges for oilseeds and oils should be made stronger for price risk management across the oilseed value chain.