The government should set in motion a yellow revolution to boost oilseeds cultivation in the country to meet the growing edible oils demand, said Nasim Ali, CEO, Oil Palm Plantations Business, Godrej Agrovet.
“Since we already have a green, white, blue revolutions, it is high time to go for a yellow revolution to enable the country to become self-sustainable in edible oil production”, he said while addressing a panel discussion on “Balancing farm productivity and sustainable agriculture” in the BusinessLine Agri Summit here on Friday.
“We are now importing around 150 lakh tonnes of edible oil valued at around ₹77,000 crore, which is causing a severe drain to the exchequer,” he said.
The average vegetable oil seed production in India is 0.3 tonnes per hectare per year compared to the Asian average of 1.2 tonnes per hectare per year.
Ali pointed out that India should achieve sustainable self-reliance in edible oil production and the focus should be to get assured returns, he added.
However, experts in the field said that the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) had tried this 30 years back but did not make much progress. But India has come a long way in 30 years and edible oil demand has gone up, increasing the import dependence to 70 per cent. Therefore, a new yellow revolution may be in order, they said.
Already, Prime Minister and Finance Minister have spoken about increasing oilseeds production and moving towards sustainable self-reliance. In the short term, India will have no choice but to import, but our import policy should not hamper the domestic oil seed production.