Palm oil | Latest National Edible Oil Mission – Oil Palm 2021

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This article will take you through the Palm Oil world and National Edible Oil Mission. The top nations producing Palm Oil, The Major Consumer of Palm Oil, Uses Of Palm Oil, Palm Oil production in India state wise. And then the latest Palm Oil Mission of India- National Edible Oil Mission.

Where is palm oil grown?

These growing regions of Palm have vast areas of tropical rainforest rich in biodiversity which is spread across the continents of Asia, Africa and South America. The demand for edible vegetable oils has grown tremendously in recent decades, and so palm oil plantations have also expanded rapidly in number and size to meet the global demand.

As per an estimate, Palm Oil production has increased tenfold since 1980.

Indonesia is the largest producer of palm oil, followed by Malaysia – both countries account for 84% of the worlds palm production.

There has been recently an increase in palm oil production in South America mainly in countries like Colombia, Ecuador and Guatemala. And now they are among the Top 10 Palm Oil Producer Nations in the world in 2021. 

Significance of Palm Oil

Scientific name of Palm tree: Elaeis guineensis

Palm oil is an edible vegetable oil obtained from the fruits of oil palm trees.

The oil is derived from the fruits in two ways:

  • By squeezing the fleshy fruit.
  • By crushing the kernel, or the stone in the middle of the fruit to obtain Palm kernel oil.

Palm Oil is in Everything

Palm oil is present in nearly everything! Almost 50% of the packaged products in supermarkets contains palm oil.

Palm oil is versatile and is extensively used not only as edible vegetable oil, but also in the manufacturing of detergents, plastics, cosmetics, and biofuels.

The utility of palm oil explains its huge demand in the international market. It is the most consumed vegetable oil in the world.

Top consumer Nations of Palm Oil

India, China & the European Union (EU) are the highest consumer of palm oil in the world.

National Edible Oil Mission – Oil Palm (NMEO-OP)

GOI launched a ₹11,000 crore National Edible Oil Mission – Oil Palm (NMEO-OP) on 9th August 2021.

Aim: To bring down India’s dependence on imported edible oils.

Top 5 Palm Oil Producer states in India

  1. Andhra Pradesh
  2. Telangana
  3. Kerala
  4. Karnataka
  5. Tamil Nadu

Current situation

  • India’s import bill of edible oils will be ₹1.20-lakh crore in 2021 from ₹75,000 crores last year. According to Solvent Extractors’ Association of India (SEA), India has 3 lakh hectares of land under oil palm cultivation, and it produces approximately 2.80 lakh tonnes of crude palm oil in a year.
  • As per SEA, there is a potential to bring around 1.9 million hectares of land under oil palm cultivation in India. 
  • So It had requested the GOI to target additional 5 lakh hectares in the upcoming next five years
  • Currently, India imports nearly two-thirds of its edible oil used in the country. 
  • Palm oil has a massive share of nearly 55 per cent of edible oil imported by India.
National Edible Oil Mission
National Edible Oil Mission

National Edible Oil Mission – Oil Palm (NMEO-OP)

  • This is a long-waited step for oil palm growth in India and towards the fulfilment of the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ vision in edible oil.
  • The government of India launched a ₹11,000 crore National Edible Oil Mission-Oil Palm (NMEO-OP) to achieve self-reliance in edible oils.
  • The NMEO aims are: 
    • to reduce India’s edible oil import dependence from 60% to 45% by 2024-25, by focusing on domestic edible oil production.
    • The target is to scale up production of Palm oil from the current 10.5 million tonnes to 18 million tonnes, a 70% growth target.
    • The special focus under it will be given to India’s north-eastern states and also the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, due to their conducive weather conditions for the growth of Palm.
    • Oil palm farmers will be given financial assistance and will also receive remuneration under a price and viability formula.
    •  this mission will also focus on expanding the cultivation of our other traditional oilseed crops

Earlier Efforts 

  • National Mission on Oil Seeds and Oil Palm, was launched during 2014-15 and later merged with the National Food Security Mission.
  • its achievements- oilseed production grew by 35% from 27.5 million tonnes in 2014-15 to 37.3 million tonnes by 2020-21.

Roadblock in Palm Oil production

Although there are manifold benefits of palm oil, one major setback that comes along with its production is the environmental damage & harm it causes to the biodiversity, as large areas under forest are being cleared worldwide for its production.

Way Forward 

Meticulous land-use planning and implementing properly planned local strategies for palm oil cultivation can reduce the pressure on high biodiversity landscapes used for growing Palm.

Oil Seeds in India

  • India is one of the major oilseeds growers as well as an importer of edible oils. 
  • The vegetable oil economy of India is the fourth largest after the USA, China & Brazil. 
  • The oilseed production accounts for 13% of the Gross Cropped Area, 3% of the Gross National Product and 10% value of all agricultural commodities.
  • Agro-climatic conditions in India produces 9 oilseed crops, which includes
    • edible oilseeds:- groundnut, sunflower, sesame, safflower rapeseed & mustard, soybean and niger.
    • non-edible oilseeds – castor and linseed.
  • Oilseeds farming is done on 27 million hectares of land in India mainly on marginal lands, of which 72% is rainfed.
  • Groundnut is a Kharif crop and is the major oilseeds produced in the country.
  • Major states of Groundnut production: Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujrat, Maharastra, UP
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