In a major push towards reducing dependence on import of oilseeds, a rationalised and comprehensive scheme to increase their domestic production will be implemented, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced on Tuesday and allotted Rs 1,500 crore for the purpose.
The Edible Oil-Oil Palm programme received Rs 900 crore while the Edible Oil-Oilseeds programme received Rs 600 crore, as per the Budget 2022-23 allocation for the Agriculture Ministry.
The government has already announced that increasing oil production has been a priority for it in view of the persistently high import of edible oil and hence, for the first time, has given a price assurance to the oil palm farmers for the Fresh Fruit Bunches.
The Economic Survey, tabled on Monday, termed the assured price as the Viability Price, which will protect the farmers from the fluctuations of the international crude palm oil prices.
Earlier in August 2021, the government had launched the National Mission on Edible Oils-Oil Palm (NMEO-OP) to augment the availability of edible oil in the country by harnessing area expansion and through price incentives in view of the enormous potential for cultivation of oil palm and production of CPO.
Currently, only 3.70 lakh hectares is under oil palm cultivation. The scheme aims 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. Also, the scheme targets the production of CPO to go up to 11.20 lakh tonnes by 2025-26 and up to 28 lakh tonnes by 2029-30.