Government to reduce import bill of edible oil by $345m by sowing oil seeds across 500,000 acres land

Canola, rapeseed-mustard and sunflower have the potential to overcome the deficiency of edible oil in the country to some extent. 

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The Government of Pakistan plans to cultivate oil seeds, including sunflower, canola and sesame seeds across 0.5 million acres of land this year. This measure will most probably reduce the import bill on edible oil by $345 million.

Currently, the import bill of edible oil and oil seeds amounts to $4 billion. It is the third most expensive commodity for Pakistan . About 88pc of the country’s domestic requirements are met through imports while the local production stands at 12PC.

”About 78pc of the yield potential is yet to be achieved in sunflower, while the country is still to realize 74pc potential of rapeseed-mustard, 75pc of groundnut, 80pc of sesame, 76pc of linseed, 79pc of soybean and 74pc of safflower”, said National Agriculture Research Centre (NARC) Oilseed Programme Leader Nazakat Nawaz.

Nazakat further added that Canola, rapeseed-mustard and sunflower have the potential to overcome the deficiency of edible oil in the country to some extent.

To increase local production and to decrease dependence on imports, Prime Minister Imran Khan’s National Agriculture Emergency Programme has launched the National Oil seeds Enhancement Programme. The program is aimed at increasing oil seed production across Pakistan.

The total cost of the five-year project is around Rs 5,115 million. Out of this, Punjab’s share stands at Rs 3,069 million. Additionally, the Punjab Agriculture Department also introduced different schemes to facilitate oilseed growers, including 50 pc subsidy on machinery.

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