Union Cabinet gives nod to Rs 11,040-crore scheme to boost domestic edible oil production

The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the National Mission on Edible Oils-Oil Palm (NMEO-OP) with a financial outlay of Rs 11,040 crore to increase the production of edible oils in the country. 

The new, Centrally-sponsored scheme will have a special focus on the North-East region and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. 

“Due to the heavy dependence on imports for edible oils, it is important to make efforts for increasing the domestic production of edible oils, in which increasing area and productivity of oil palm plays an important part,” the government has said in a release. 

Out of the financial outlay of Rs 11,040 crore, Rs 8,844 crore will be the share of the Centre and Rs 2,196 crore of States, including the viability-gap funding. 

The scheme proposes to cover an additional area of 6.5 lakh hectares for oil palm till 2025-26 and thereby reach the target of 10 lakh hectares ultimately. The production of crude palm oil (CPO) is expected to go up to 11.20 lakh tonnes by 2025-26 and up to 28 lakh tonnes by 2029-30. 

“The scheme will immensely benefit the oil palm farmers, increase capital investment, create employment generation, reduce the import dependence and also increase the income of the farmers,” the release has said. 

While oilseeds production increased from 275 lakh tonnes in 2014-15 to 365.65 lakh tonnes in 2020-21, there is huge potential in oil palm plantation and subsequently production of CPO. “For harnessing the potential of palm oil production in the year 2020, an assessment has been made by the Indian Institute of Oil Palm Research (IIOPR) for cultivation of oil palm which has given an assessment of around 28 lakh hectares," the government has added.

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