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India’s Palm Oil Imports  |

India’s Palm Oil Imports 

Context

∙ India’s palm oil imports rose in December to their highest in four months.

Palm Oil

∙ It’s an edible vegetable oil that comes from the fruit of oil palm trees, having the scientific name Elaeis guineensis.

∙ The oil palm tree is native to West and Central Africa. It also grows extensively in Malaysia and Indonesia.

∙ Palm oil, obtained from the fruits, is used in making soaps, cosmetics, candles, biofuels, and lubricating greases and in processing tinplate and coating iron plates.

∙ Palm kernel oil, from the seeds, is used in manufacturing such edible products as margarine, ice cream, chocolate confections, cookies, and bread, as well as many pharmaceuticals.

Indian import of palm oil

∙ India is the largest importer of palm oil in Asia, accounting for 15% of global imports, followed by China (9%),   Pakistan   (4%)   and Bangladesh (2%).

∙ India buys palm oil mainly from Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand.

National Mission on Edible Oils – Oil Palm (NMEO-OP)

∙ It is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme with a special focus on the North east region and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

∙ Funding: A financial outlay of Rs.11,040 crore has been made for the scheme, out of which Rs.8,844 crore is the Government of India share and Rs.2,196 crore is State share.

∙ Under this scheme, it is proposed to cover an additional area of 6.5 lakh hectares for oil palm till the year 2025-26 and thereby reaching the target of 10 lakh hectares ultimately.

∙ Objective: To augment the availability of edible oil in the country by harnessing area expansion and increasing crude palm oil production to reduce the import burden.

∙ The salient features of NMEO-Oil palm are:

∙ Assistance for planting material,

∙ Inputs for intercropping up to gestation period of 4 years and for maintenance,

∙ Establishment of seed gardens, micro irrigation, vermicompost units, solar pumps, harvesting tools, custom hiring center cum harvester Groups,∙ Farmers and officers training, and for replanting of old oil palm gardens etc.

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