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.
It is, therefore, necessary to exploit domestic resources to maximize production to ensure
edible oil security for the country. Oil Palm is comparatively a new crop in India and is the
highest vegetable oil yielding perennial crop. With quality planting materials, irrigation and
proper management, there is potential of achieving 20-30 MT Fresh Fruit Bunches (FFBs) per ha
after attaining the age of 5 years. Therefore, there is an urgent need to intensify efforts for area
expansion under oil palm to enhance palm oil production in the country.
Tree Borne Oilseeds (TBOs), like sal, mahua, simarouba, kokum, olive, karanja, jatropha,
neem, jojoba, cheura, wild apricot, walnut, tung etc. are cultivated/grown in the country under
different agro-climatic conditions in a scattered form in forest and non-forest areas as well as in
waste land /deserts/hilly areas. These TBOs are also good source of vegetable oil and therefore
need to be supported for cultivation.