Modi Advices Pvt. Industry To Cut Edible Oil Imports And buy Locally produced Oilseeds

It is to be noted that India imports 60-65 per cent of its edible oil requirement.

Narendra Modi, President Of India, PM Kisan Samman Nidhi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi  urged private corporates to shun imports and buy oilseeds produced locally by providing offtake assurance to farmers, creating a win-win situation for both.

India, he said, is looking to jack up edible oil production by about 50 per cent in the next 3-4 years. Modi said there is a huge potential to expand cultivation of palm oil under the 'National Mission on Edible Oil'.

Addressing a webinar on the positive impact of the Union Budget 2022 on the agriculture sector, the Prime Minister said investors should come forward to promote crop diversification.

Citing examples of oilseeds and pulses, Modi said, “There is a huge demand for these (pulses and oilseeds) in our country. The corproate world should come forward. There is an assured market for you (corporates). What is the need for import?"

The businesses, the Prime Minister said, can tell in advance to farmers about how much quantities of pulses and oilseeds they would purchase. He noted that the agriculture insurance system already provides protection against crop losses.

The Prime Minister further stressed on the need to study India's food requirement. "We all need to work together to ensure that whatever (food) items we need, they get produced in India only," he said.

The government has set a target to increase domestic production of edible oil by 50 per cent in the next 3-4 years, Modi said and emphasised on achieving the target within time. A programme to increase oil palm cultivation has already been launched, he added. 

 As per industry data, the country's edible oil import bill shot up to Rs 1.17 lakh crore in 2020-21 oil year ending October 2021, compared to nearly Rs 72,000 crore in the previous year due to rise in global prices.

 Modi also exhorted Indian business houses to help in branding and promotion of Indian millets (core cereals), which have high nutritional value. Year 2023 has been declared as 'International Year of Millets'.

 He also talked about “a huge opportunity” for the corporate world in the field of nano-fertiliser, which is going to be a “game changer” as well as food processing and ethanol manufacturing.

 Modi also called on startups and private investors to create a pan-India network of soil testing labs. He said there is a need to create awareness among farmers about the importance of regular soil testing of their farm land.

 The Union Budget 2022-23, he said, focuses on making Indian agriculture modern and smart.

 He noted that artificial intelligence (AI) is going to completely change agriculture and trade related to farming in the 21st century. 

 Modi said the government's objective is to increase farmers' income, reduce input cost and provide modern facilities to farmers. He also asked corporates to create a system where all agricultural equipment could be provided to farmers on rent.

 The Prime Minister also asked agriculture universities and farm scientists to make efforts to create awareness about natural and organic farming.

 Modi highlighted that, in the last seven years, his government has initiated many new systems and improved the old ones for the entire agriculture value chain, from seed to market.


 He said the agriculture budget has increased manifold in just six years and farm loans have also been increased by 2.5 times in seven years.

 The Prime Minister said the PM Kisan Samman Nidhi scheme has become a strong support for the small farmers of the country. 

"Under the scheme, almost Rs 1.75 lakh crore has been given to 11 crore farmers”. The Centre provides Rs 6,000 annually to farmers in three equal installments under this scheme.

During the difficult period of the pandemic, he noted that 3 crore farmers were given Kisan Credit Cards  (KCC) as part of the special drive. Micro irrigation network has also been strengthened to the great benefit of the small farmers, the Prime Minister said.

Due to these government's efforts, Modi said, farmers have produced record foodgrains and added that new records have been created in MSP purchases too.

Stating that the government is also encouraging organic farming, the Prime Minister said that the market for organic products has reached Rs 11,000 crore, with exports rising to more than Rs 7,000 crore from Rs 2,000 crore six years ago.

The Prime Minister asked for leveraging increasing awareness for an environmentally friendly lifestyle and resulting market for natural and organic products.

Referring to the Budget, he said it focuses on making Indian agriculture “modern and smart” and elaborated on the seven ways in which the Budget proposes to achieve this.

These include, promoting natural farming along the Ganges, ensuring modern technology in agriculture and horticulture, and new logistics arrangements for the transportation of agricultural products.The focus will be on better organisation of agri-waste management and increasing farmers' income through waste to energy solutions, he added.


The budget also stresses that agri research and education syllabus will be updated as per demands of modern times with regard to skill development and human resource development.

Emphasising innovations in the irrigation field, the Prime Minister underlined the government's focus on 'per drop, more crop'. He said there are many possibilities for the corporate world in this too.

Modi noted that artificial intelligence (AI) is going to completely change the agriculture sector and trade related to agriculture in the 21st century. Increasing use of drones in farming is part of this change.

“Drone technology will be available on a scale only when we promote agri-startups. In the last 3-4 years, more than 700 agri startups have been created in the country”, he added.

He also spoke about the need for better post-harvest management and boosting the level of food processing.

The Prime Minister emphasised on better management of agri-residue (parali).“For this, some new measures have been taken in this budget, due to which carbon emission will be reduced and farmers will also get income," he said.

The Prime Minister also touched upon the potential in the field of ethanol where the government is moving ahead with a goal of 20 per cent blending. The blending has reached near 8 per cent compared to 1-2 per cent in 2014, he informed.

Talking about the role of the cooperative sector, he said India's cooperative sector is very vibrant and needs to be turned into a successful business enterprise.” 

( With PTI Inputs)

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