Friday, 9 June 2017

Indian Edible Oil Industry

The Indian vegetable oil economy is the world’s fourth largest after the US, China and Brazil, harvesting about 25 million tons of oilseeds against the world. Since 1995, Indian share in world production of oilseeds has been around 10 percent. Although, India is a major producer of oilseeds, per capita oil consumption in India is only 10.6 kg/annum which is low compared to 12.5 kg/annum in China, 20.8 kg/annum in Japan, 21.3 kg/annum in Brazil and 48.0 kg/annum in USA.
Vegetable oil consumption has increased following a rise in household incomes and consumer demand. India imports half of its edible oil requirement, making it the world’s third-largest importer of edible oil. The country buys soya oil from Argentina & Brazil and palm oil from Malaysia & Indonesia.
Currently, India accounts for 11.2 per cent of vegetable oil import and 9.3 per cent of edible oil consumption.

Types of Oils commonly in use in India:

India has a wide range of oilseeds crops grown in its different agro climatic zones. Groundnut, mustard/rapeseed, sesame, safflower, linseed, nigerseed / castorseed are the major traditionally cultivated oilseeds. Soyabean and sunflower have also assumed importance in recent years. Groundnut, soyabean and mustard together contribute about 85 percent of the country’s oilseeds production. Coconut is most important amongst the plantation crops. Efforts are being made to grow oil palm in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu in addition to Kerala and Andaman & Nicobar Islands. Among the non-conventional oils, ricebran oil and cottonseed oil are the most important. In addition, oilseeds of tree and forest origin, which grow mostly in tribal inhabited areas, are also a significant source of oils.
Until 2002, the olive oil sector in India was predominantly unorganised. The olive oil industry in India is small and largely people use it more for cosmetic purposes than for cooking. Today Indians are moving to better cooking mediums like Olive oil for health and wellness reasons. Olive Oil has always been placed somewhere between food and medicine and the biggest challenge is to educate Indian consumers on the benefits of olive oil as a cooking medium. Today, the domestic olive oil consumption is seen rising 25% annually.

Production of Oilseeds in India:

India is one of the largest producers of oilseeds in the world and this sector occupies an important position in the agricultural economy and accounts for an estimated production of 28.21 million tonnes of nine cultivated oilseeds during the year 2007-08. India contributes about 6 -7% of the world oilseeds production.

Localisation of the Industry:

India is one of the largest producers of oilseeds in the world. The oilseeds area and output is concentrated in Central and southern parts of India, mainly in Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. In India, oilseeds are grown in an area of nearly 27 million hectares across the length and breadth of the country.


India ranks second in the world (after China) in groundnut production. The three southern states of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and the western state of Gujarat together account for close to 80% of the annual output in India. Regional trends in groundnut production indicate that the recent increase in groundnut yields has mainly occurred in Tamil Nadu due to increased irrigation. Although Tamil Nadu accounts for 12% of the total area under groundnuts, it contributes to 22% of the total production.


In India Madhya Pradesh is the leading state in producing soybean followed by Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. On an average, Madhya Pradesh produces 74 percent of India’s total soybean crop; Maharashtra, 13 percent; and Rajasthan, 10 percent. The crop has exhibited a vast potential as a monsoon season crop mainly in Central India, and is extending its coverage in the Southern parts of the country.

Olive Oil:

India relies on import route for its olive requirement, as the country has no olive cultivation locally except in a few pockets in Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh. For the first time, Rajasthan government has tied up with an Israeli firm Indolive Ltd and Indian company Plastro Plasson Industries to promote olive farming on 210 hectares in the state.

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