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India imports nearly 70% of edible oil out of which nearly two-third constitutes Palm oil.
Palm oil industry suffers in India from various bottlenecks.
- The basic concern in lack of availability of land for cultivation purposes.
- Another issue is the threat to biodiversity and deforestation (pushing back our commitments in an international environmental initiative like Paris Pact.)
- Other social disturbance like resettlement of people and related agitation in order to attain land.
- Poor technological advancements and redundant technologies used decreasing efficiency.
- The poor political will to create the required infrastructure and collection center’s.
- Lack of channelizing of credit in the industry also discriminative farmers to grow palms.
- Not viable for small and marginal farmers to grow due to market fluctuations – therefore restricted to big companies.
In order to iron out the difficulties, the following steps can be taken
- the increased political will to reduce the import dependence by increasing the domestic production of palm oil (e.g. national Mission on Oil seeds and Oil palm(NMOOP))
- Availability of ample lands using wastelands to increase productivity.
- Focus on environmentally and socially sustainable palm oil industry land pooling can be done with loss deforestation.
- Increased budgetary allocation for research and development and technologies for industry.
- Ample collection center’s using hub and spokes model of Mega Food Parks.
- Adequate credit and support through converging schemes like “Uber for tractor” App for inputs.
Concentrated efforts of stakeholders are required to strengthen the industry as it can have multiple benefits like decreased imports, increased employment and doubling farmers income.