Vegetable oil producers in India are grinning once more as edible consumption has returned to pre-Covid levels. In the 2019–20 season (November–October), the average person’s consumption of edible oil fell by 7.8 percent, and the future years’ price volatility further impacted the off-take. And now for the good news for manufacturers of edible oils. Unexpectedly, the nation is also experiencing a sustained increase in domestic production, which is mostly fueled by the increased production of mustard.
The domestic output of edible oil expanded at the same time, outpacing consumption, despite the weak off-take during the Covid pandemic caused by supply chain interruptions, high prices, and weaker purchasing power. Domestic output climbed from a level of 7.24 million tonnes (mt) in 2019–20 to 8.43 mt in 2020–21 and 9.05 mt in 2021–22. We anticipate that this will increase to 9.3 mt in 2022–2023, the man stated. He warned that disruptions in the world supply chain might leave the nation vulnerable, using the examples of COVID-19 and the Ukraine conflict as examples. “You need to boost domestic manufacturing to increase self-reliance.
We are currently reliant on imports, which account for approximately 60% of our 23–24 mt annual needs, according to Desai. It was impossible to become completely self-sufficient, but the nation may endeavor to increase the domestic component to between 45 and 60 percent. Farmers have expressed interest in cultivating more mustard due to the high demand. He claimed that the new approval for the cultivation of genetically modified mustard would ease the situation even more. Given that these are imported, he suggested that India concentrate on mustard and rice bran oil.
The solution lies in palm oil, which accounted for more than half of the 13.78 mt of imports last year. He claimed that Telangana’s goal to cultivate oil palm on 20 lakh acres and India’s launch of the oil palm mission will help cut back on imports. Desai, however, wished for the nation to concentrate on raising productivity, which was low in comparison to international benchmarks. “The worldwide market can produce three to four times more oil seeds on the same amount of land. Therefore, increasing production is a low-hanging fruit goal, according to him.