Govt to raise domestic edible oil output to 4.8m tonnes in 10 years

ISLAMABAD  – In an effort to take the country towards self reliance in food commodities especially in edible oil, the government has planned to increase the annual domestic edible oil production up to 4.793 million tonnes in 10 years.
At present the country produces 0.745 million tons of edible oil annually which is only 8% of the total demand of the commodity of over 5 million tons.
In a meeting held here, presided over by Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal, it was informed that in order to meet the demand, Pakistan imports 4.5 million tons of edible oil annually.
The move would help minimizing the huge import bill of the food group that was recorded at $7.575 billion during first 11 months (Jul-May) of the year 2021-22.
The import of palm oil was recorded at $3,058 billion while that of soyabean oil stood at $217.7 million during the period under review.
It was informed in the meeting that it has been planned that the production would be gradually increased from current 0.745 million to 1.192 million in five years and 4.793 millions in next 10 years.
The meeting was attended by the authorities of ministry of National Food Security and Research, and ministry of Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives.
On the occasion, Ahsan Iqbal directed that the plan to take the country towards self reliance in edible oil should be discussed with all provincial stakeholders and after taking them in confidence on this issue, a feasible roadmap should be finalized within a week.
The minister said the investors in the edible oil production sector should be given special incentives to boost local production.
He said making the country self dependence in the edible oil was the top priority of the government’s development agenda and in this regard he directed to engage the private sector to expedite the process of achieving the self reliance. Ahsan Iqbal also directed to ensure the supply of edible oil to the people keeping the basic hygiene rules.
Meanwhile, Ambassador of Indonesia to Pakistan, Adam Mulawarman Tugio on Friday said that palm oil supply operation from Indonesia to Pakistan would be completed by July 10, 2022. “So far five ships have arrived in the port city of Karachi and another five will arrive by July 10,” Ambassador of Indonesia Adam Mulawarman Tugio told APP here.
The ambassador said that in last month on the June Prime Minister of Pakistan, Mian Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif and the President of Indonesia Joko Widodo had discussed the issue of increasing the supply of palm oil to Pakistan after Indonesia lifted the ban of palm oil exports in last months of May. He said the Indonesian government then decided to use 10 ships for oil supply in the next three weeks to meet Pakistan’s needs.
“Pakistan is a brotherly Islamic country with which Indonesia has strong economic, trade and diplomatic relations, he said adding that Indonesia will always continue its cooperation to meet the need for palm oil in Pakistan.
Replying to a question, he said that the Indonesian government had temporarily banned global palm oil exports to regulate local markets and provide subsidized palm oil to locals The ambassador said that the global consumption of palm oil worldwide was currently 70 MT, of which 33 MT was produced in Indonesia.
Similarly, Indonesia was the world’s largest exporter of palm oil, which also impacts the local Indonesian market and had to be adjusted according to its prices, he said.
Replying to another question, he said that Indonesia has lifted the global ban on palm oil export from last week of May and now palm oil supply in Pakistan would be improved.
Indonesia is the largest supplier of palm oil to Pakistan as the palm oil would now be available in the local markets, he said.
In this regard, the Indonesian government was paying special attention to increase the supply of palm oil into Pakistani markets.
He acknowledged that due to the ban on exports of palm oil, people and traders of Pakistan had faced difficulties. For that matter, the Indonesian embassy in Islamabad would fully cooperate with the local market, said the ambassador.
Last week, Indonesian President Joko Widido lifted the ban on palm oil exports.

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