Although Indian oilseed production increased by 19 percent between 2018-19 and 2021-22, it still relies on imports of the commodity to meet more than 60 percent of domestic demand.
According to the Ministry of Food and Consumer Affairs, India produced 31.52 million tons of oilseeds in 2018-2019, up 19 percent to 37.15 million tons in 2021-22.
In fact, the country’s oilseed production has increased significantly over the past four years, reaching 33.22 million tons in 2019-20 and 35.95 million tons in 2020-21.
Even the estimated production of soybeans, according to the second advance estimates of the Directorate of Economic Affairs and Statistics, was 13.12 million tons in 2021-22, compared to the production of 12.61 million tons in 2020-21.
But due to its dependence on the importation of oilseeds and various types of edible oils, India is facing a supply shortage of these essential goods and the government has been forced to launch surprise checks and inspections to prevent the hoarding and black marketing of these items. curb. Raids are also being made to control the rise in prices of these goods.
Russia and Ukraine, the countries currently at war, are two major suppliers of sunflower oil to India. Due to the geopolitical tensions engendered by the conflict, the prices of soybean oil, sunflower oil and palm oil have risen sharply over the past two months due to scarcity.
According to official data, the average selling price of soybean oil, sunflower oil and palm oil has risen sharply in the past three months.
The average selling price of sunflower oil is Rs 184.58 per kg on April 4, compared to the price of Rs 161.71 per kg on January 1, 2022.
Food Minister Sudhanshu Pandey said Monday that a central team along with government officials are conducting inspections in several oilseed and edible oil-producing states.
Major states such as Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra are now being covered, he said, adding that the drive will be intensified in the coming days.
The senior official also said the government has already cut tariffs on edible oils, extended stockholding limits and ensured prompt clearance of ships in ports, in addition to facilitating imports through private traders.