Increased import of vegetable oil, coupled with low oilseed production paints a disappointing picture of the country’s vegetable oil industry, stakeholders said on Thursday.
Speakers at the three-day Globoil India 2016 event here, also expressed hope that the GST could a game changer and a shot in the arm for the vegetable oil industry.
Chairman Globoil & CEO Sunvin Group, Sandeep Bajoria, said that India was the world’s leading cooking oil importer and there was need to “adopt policies to promote domestic oilseed production”.
“But that has not been happening,” he said, noting imports of vegetable oil have almost reached 70 per cent in the current fiscal.
Currently, more than 50 per cent of the country’s annual demand for cooking oil, which is around 16 to 17 million tons, is supplemented by import of palmolein oil, as well as soya bean oil from Latin America and sunflower oil from countries in and around the Black Sea.
“Oil seeds and pulses are the biggest sufferers and the period between 1995 and 2015 should be considered as the lost decades for these commodities. Practically no growth in oilseed and only marginal increase in pulses was witnessed,” said Atul Chaturvedi, CEO, Adani Wilmar Ltd at the inaugural session of the event held at a coastal resort near the state capital.
He also stressed on the importance of investment in research which increases productivity of oil seeds in the country.
“If we can invest more in research and increase out production of oil seeds our imports would reduce,” he said, adding that implementation of GST would be a game changer as far as the vegetable oil industry in the country is concerned.