India's recent progress in oil palm cultivation seems promising.

There is a great opportunity to expand the crop to an additional 4-5 lakh hectares within the next 7-10 years.

May 25, 2024 - 14:52
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India's recent progress in oil palm cultivation seems promising.

India grows different oilseed crops such as rapeseed, mustard, groundnut, soybean, castor seed, and sesamum in a large area, but the yearly output is much lower when compared to the production of palm oil per hectare.

As the population grows and consumers' purchasing power improves, there will be a consistent rise in the demand for edible oil. In Fiscal year 2023, India is said to have used more than 23 million tonnes of vegetable oils. The total consumption experienced a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of around 3% between 2013 and 2021. The increase is expected to remain around 3-3.5% in the future. The increasing amount of vegetable oils being imported has closed the widening gap. Approximately 60 % of the edible oil import basket is made up of palm oil.

The growth rate in gross area coverage from FY21-22 to FY23-24 remains positive and promising, however, efforts must be made to further enhance and maintain this progress.

We are certain about our progress momentum despite unpredictable factors that are out of our hands.

Other states in India growing oil palm should consider replicating the methods and techniques used in Andhra Pradesh (AP) and Telangana, such as implementing micro irrigation and other agricultural practices promptly. The steadfast dedication of oil palm farmers in AP and Telangana, as well as processors and the Government, to the development of oil palm, is commendable.

India's goal of achieving self-sufficiency in edible oil production by expanding large-scale oil palm plantations is like a three-legged tripod, with a focus on increasing the area of cultivation, improving fruit bunch yield, and raising crude palm oil production. The new oil palm developers who also process the oil must emulate the practices of the established players. Success in engaging in oil palm development through farmers requires both long-term investment and long-term commitment.

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