Govt launches mission to boost oilseeds’ production, cut imports of cooking oils

NEW DELHI, Mar 4 : Union Agriculture Minister Arjun Munda on Monday said the government has launched a mission to boost production of oilseeds and reduce imports of cooking oils.

The minister virtually inaugurated administrative-cum-academic building, Manas Guest House, Subansiri Girls Hostel and Brahmaputra Boys Hostel at IARI, Dirpai Chapori, Gogamukh, Assam.

Union Minister of State for Agriculture Kailash Choudhary was present at the inaugural event and visited an exhibition stall at the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), Assam.

According to an official statement, Munda said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has special emphasis on the development of the Northeastern region.

He said the central government has done the work of eliminating the gaps in the development of agriculture in the northeastern states and bringing them into the mainstream.

Munda said the government is working with the resolve to make the country a developed nation by 2047, in which the role of agriculture is very important.

He highlighted that a mission of Rs 11,000 crore is being run to reduce the burden of edible oil imports and become self-reliant in oilseeds.

“We have to work with the thought that in the coming days, we will not import but export,” Munda said.

India imports about 16 million tonnes of edible oils annually to meet domestic demand. In terms of value, India imported edible oils worth about Rs 1.38 lakh crore during 2022-23 (November-October).

The Union agriculture minister also stressed the development of climate-resilient crop varieties.

He emphasised linking agriculture education to livelihood and employment opportunities.

Munda said biodiversity studies also need special attention. He hoped that in a year, this institute would be the most preferred choice for research.

He emphasised that technologies have to be climate-neutral and gender-neutral.

Choudhary urged scientists to exploit the natural diversity that exists in the Northeast Region. He stressed focusing on research related to pulses and oilseeds so that the country does not have to spend too much money on the import of pulses. (PTI )