National Mission on Edible Oil-Oil Palm (NMEO-OP)
Recently, the Prime Minister has announced a new national initiative on palm oil production to help increase farm incomes.
• The scheme, called National Edible Oil Mission-Oil Palm (NMEO-OP), for selfreliance in edible oil involves investment of over Rs. 11,000 crore (over a five year period).
• National Mission on Oilseeds and Oil Palm (NMOOP) was implemented during the 12thFive Year Plan, to expand the oil palm areas and increase the production of edible oils.
• It was later merged with the National Food Security Mission.
• NMEO-OP aims resolve to allow India to be independent or self-reliant in edible oil production.
• Through this mission, more than ₹11,000 crore will be invested in the edible oil ecosystem.
• The government will ensure that farmers get all needed facilities, from quality seeds to technology.
• Along with promoting the cultivation of oil palm, this mission will also expand the cultivation of our other traditional oilseed crops.
About Palm Oil
• Palm oil is currently the world’s most consumed vegetable oil.
• It is used extensively in the production of detergents, plastics, cosmetics, and biofuels.
• Top consumers of the commodity are India, China, and the European Union (EU).
• To harness domestic edible oil prices that are dictated by expensive palm oil imports.
• To raise the domestic production of palm oil by three times to 11 lakh MT by 2025-26.This will involve raising the area under oil palm cultivation to 10 lakh hectares by 2025-26 and 16.7 lakh hectares by 2029-30.
• The special emphasis of the scheme will be in India’s north-eastern states and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands due to the conducive weather conditions in the regions.
• Under the scheme, oil palm farmers will be provided financial assistance and will get remuneration under a price and viability formula.
Significance of the Scheme:
• Reduction in Import dependance:
▪ It is expected to incentivise production of palm oil to reduce dependence on imports and help farmers cash in on the huge market.
▪ India is the largest consumer of vegetable oil in the world. Of this, palm oil imports are almost 55% of its total vegetable oil imports.
o Rise in Yields:
▪ India produces less than half of the roughly 2.4 crore tonnes of edible oil that it consumes annually. It imports the rest, buying palm oil from Indonesia and Malaysia, soyoil from Brazil and Argentina, and sunflower oil, mainly from Russia and Ukraine.
▪ In India, 94.1% of its palm oil is used in food products, especially for cooking purposes. This makes palm oil
extremely critical to India’s edible oils economy.
Edible Oil Economy
• There are two major features, which have significantly contributed to the development of this sector. One was the setting up of the Technology Mission on Oilseeds in 1986 which was converted into a National Mission on Oilseeds and Oil Palm (NMOOP) in 2014.
o Further it was merged with NFSM (National Food Security Mission).
• This gave a thrust to Government’s efforts for augmenting the production of oilseeds. This is evident by the very impressive increase in the production of oilseeds from about 11.3 million tons in 1986-87 to 33.22 million tons in 2019-20.
• The other dominant feature which has had significant impact on the present status of edible oilseeds/oil industry has been the program of liberalization under which the Government’s economic policy allows greater freedom to the open market and encourages healthy competition and self
regulation rather than protection and control.
• The Yellow Revolution is one of the colour revolutions that was launched to increase the production of Edible oilseeds in the country to meet domestic demand.
• The government has also launched the Kharif Strategy 2021 for oilseeds.
o It will bring an additional 6.37 lakh hectare area under oilseeds and is likely to produce 120.26 lakh quintals of oilseeds and edible oil amounting to 24.36 lakh quintals.
• Oils Commonly Used in India: Groundnut, mustard, rapeseed, sesame, safflower, linseed, niger seed, castor are the major traditionally cultivated oilseeds.
o Soybean and sunflower have also assumed importance in recent years.
o Coconut is most important amongst the plantation crops.
Alternative Source for EDIBLE OILS
• Oil Palm is comparatively a new crop in India and is the highest vegetable oil yielding perennial crop.
• With quality planting materials, irrigation and proper management, there is potential of achieving 20-30 MT Fresh Fruit Bunches (FFBs) per ha after attaining the age of 5 years.
• Therefore, there is an urgent need to intensify efforts for area expansion under oil palm to enhance palm oil production in the country.
• Tree Borne Oilseeds (TBOs), like sal, mahua, simarouba, kokum, olive, karanja, jatropha, neem, jojoba, cheura, wild apricot, walnut, tung etc. are cultivated/grown in the country under different agro-climatic conditions.
• These TBOs are also good source of vegetable oil and therefore need to be
supported for cultivation.