INTRODUCTION : Oilseeds
India is one of the major oilseeds grower and importer of edible oils. India’s
vegetable oil economy is world’s fourth largest after USA, China & Brazil. The
oilseed accounts for 13% of the Gross Cropped Area, 3% of the Gross National
Product and 10% value of all agricultural commodities. This sector has recorded
annual growth rate of area, production and yield @ 2.44%, 5.47% and 2.96%
respectively during last decade (1999-2009).
The diverse agro-ecological conditions in the country are favourable for
growing 9 annual oilseed crops, which include 7 edible oilseeds (groundnut, rapeseed
& mustard, soybean, sunflower, sesame, safflower and niger) and two non-edible
oilseeds (castor and linseed). Oilseeds cultivation is undertaken across the country in
about 27 million hectares mainly on marginal lands, of which 72% is confined to
During the last few years, the domestic consumption of edible oils has
increased substantially and has touched the level of 18.90 million tonnes in 2011-12
and is likely to increase further. With per capita consumption of vegetable oils at the
rate of 16 kg/year/person for a projected population of 1276 million, the total
vegetable oils demand is likely to touch 20.4 million tonnes by 2017.
A substantial portion of our requirement of edible oil is met through import of
palm oil from Indonesia and Malaysia.