India can reduce its edible oil import bill by about $9.76 million (around Rs 58 crore) in the next two years by increasing production of key oilseed, mustard by 10 per cent, a report has said.
“By increasing mustard seed production by 10 per cent, India can reduce its edible oil imports by 10.3 per cent and save foreign exchange of about Rs 57.9 crore or $9.769 million in the next two years,” Mustard Research and Promotion Consortium (MRPC) said in its report.
The country has developed hybrid varieties of mustard, which have a higher oil yield of up to 45 per cent compared to the present yield of 33 per cent, the report added.
India’s total mustard seed production stood at 7.15 million tonnes in the 2012-13 rabi season (March-April) up 5.45 per cent from 6.78 million tonnes in the previous year.
Mustard oil production in 2012-13 rose to 710 kg per hectare from 601 kg per hectare in 2011-12.
For domestic consumption of edible oil, India is heavily dependent on import of palm oil from Indonesia and Thailand and soyabean oil from Argentina and Brazil.
“Naturally processed Indian mustard oil is by far the healthiest cooking oil as it has unique fatty acid profile, backed by a chemical free method of manufacturing and can save the valuable foreign exchange of the country,” MRPC Assistant Director Pragya Gupta said.
Mustard oil is one of the common and cheapest oil commodity produced in India and is the only crop, which is 100 per cent utilised. After the oil is extracted from the seed, the resultant oil cake is used as cattle feed and is also utilised in other products.
Source: Economic Times Markets