The Union government has set a target to become self-reliant in edible oil production and will encourage farmers through the distribution of oil seeds kits for increasing cultivation area, Union Minister for State of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Shobha Karandlaje has said.
Ms. Karandlaje, speaking to presspersons at the Gulbarga University guest house on Saturday, reiterated that the government was working towards reducing the dependence on imports.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has recently announced a National Mission on Edible Oils – Oil Palm (NMEO-OP) to make India self-sufficient in edible oil.
A sum of ₹11,000 crore has been earmarked under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Scheme to help farmers get quality seeds and technology to promote farming and to produce edible oil.
“Despite having such a large cultivation area, we have failed to produce edible oil in a large quantity. Nearly 70% of edible oil is imported from countries like Indonesia and Malaysia and every year we spend around ₹7,500 crore,” she added.
As per a survey, the agricultural contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of India has increased from 13% to 20.22%.
The production of food grains, fruits and vegetables has seen an all-time record last year despite the pandemic. The country recorded the production of 305 million tonnes of food grains and 326 million tonnes of fruits and vegetables. The Centre has taken several initiatives to increase the production of pulses and oilseeds in the coming two years, she said.
Lauding the Modi government for increased budgetary allocation for the agriculture sector, Ms. Karandlaje said that a budgetary allocation of ₹1,23,000 crore was made for the farming sector.
When the Congress was at the Centre, it had merely allocated ₹27,000 crore for agriculture, the Minister added.
The Centre has also set a target for establishing 10,000 Farmers’ Produce Organisation (FPOs) across the country. In Karnataka, 750 FPOs will come up in the next year and the government has earmarked ₹1 lakh crore under the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund, she said.
To increase the yield, the government has planned to encourage the cultivation of suitable crops in a climate of a particular region under the ‘One District, One Product’ programme, in which dedicated clusters will be set up in each district to double farmers’ income.