The ministry of agriculture will float a separate mission to promote the production of oil palm and oil seeds in the new five-year Plan.
“According to the production estimate, while internal supply of edible oil seed is around 38.5 million tonnes, demand is roughly 59 mt. The gap is met increasingly through imports, a drag on the exchequer. Therefore, whatever schemes are already running for oil palm and oil seeds will be clubbed and a new national mission floated,” said an official source close to the development.
With a few exceptions, all other standalone schemes and technological missions for crops are to be merged under the flagship Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana.
Oil and oil seeds come under a centrally sponsored Integrated Scheme of Oilseeds, Pulses, Oil Palm and Maize (Isopom) since 2004, a sort of technological mission. Maize, along with minor millets like ragi and bajra, are to be merged with the National Food Security Mission (NFSM), which currently has only rice, wheat and pulses.
A standalone technological mission on pulses is to go to the National Food Security Mission.
So, programmes under Isopom are to be implemented in a much bigger way.
Officials said the entire outlay has yet to be finalised but oil palm alone was expected to get a fund allocation of Rs 10,000 crore.
Demand and supply gaps in edible oil are to be addressed by emphasising minor oil seeds as well, such as rice bran, cotton or safflower and nigerseed .
Technology will be imported from edible oil exporting countries, to reduce the lead time for sowing and production.
The existing feature of Isopom is flexibility to states for introducing innovative measures or any special component to the extent of 10 per cent of financial allocation, involvement of the private sector by state governments in implementation of the programme, with a financial cap of 15 per cent, and flexibility for inter-component diversion of funds up to 20 per cent, for non-seed components only.