Every vegetable, every nut, every fruit we eat everyday has numerous other benefits. In addition to covering up the basic daily requirement of nutrition, it has the ability to prevent few diseases, provide edible oils, cosmetic purposes, industrial uses etc. It is our duty to acknowledge these wonderful advantages provided by the nature. We should be capable of processing them accordingly to meet our needs.
When speaking about edible oils, India as a country has an immense amount of resources which include vegetables, nuts, and seeds etc which are capable of producing oils. The problem lies in technological development and machinery to process them correctly. It would come off as a surprise to know that India is the largest producer of oilseeds and a major exporter of edible oils to the world. It would be even more surprising to know that the production rate hasn’t matched up to the demand rate of the residents here. So, half of the consumption is being imported. Even though the demand has been increasing by a rate of 6%, the production rate is increasing by just 2% annually.
Therefore, there is an immediate action proposed to improve the production and quality of oilseeds. Research programmes exclusively regarding the oilseeds have to be taken up with interest. There should be scope as well as resources to work with. Discovering methods to produce heat-tolerant, pest-tolerant and high nutrient containing oilseeds have to be made. In Indian household, demand for groundnuts is increasing as the days pass by. But researchers have seen that it is the groundnut crops that have been slowly degrading. The oil content in the groundnuts is decreasing and the nutritional value too. This should be taken care of by scientific methods. Introducing HYV’s is a suggested method. Also, genetic engineering has proved to be extremely helpful in certain cases which surely would result the same when oilseeds are involved.
Provision of financial, industrial and moral support to the farmer is a must to be given by the government as well as the non-farming group of individuals. The partnerships between the farmers and the governments have worked well in the past and promise to do so in the future too. This should be promoted because increasing the area for agriculture is not advisable because of the minimum amount of land we have. Also, these partnerships will benefit the farmers who are known to be the poorest of the poor in our country. Government aided programmes will get more people interested in it, in turn increasing the production.
Oilseed production grabs a large of agricultural GDP because of the agro-ecological benefit we have on our land. Our land is suitable for growing almost all the oilseeds making it the largest producer. The most produced oilseeds are Groundnuts, rapeseed-mustard and soyabean. Due to the growing population, globalization, urbanization and modernization the demand has been growing rapidly. But the production level hasn’t been able to match up to this. This is the scenario our country has about the edible oils and oilseeds. All we can do is support the cause and help in decreasing the dependence on other countries for our requirement.
As always, we should be promoting self sufficiency and swadeshi!!