Oilseed Cultivation to Save $4 billion in Import Bill

In a meeting held at Agriculture House, Lahore, Secretary of Agriculture Punjab Iftikhar Ali Sahoo highlighted the urgent need to expand the area under cultivation of oilseed crops.

He emphasized increasing local production was the key to curbing this heavy expenditure with the annual import bill for edible oil standing at a staggering $4 billion.

Sahoo added that the demand for oilseeds was surging globally, making it crucial for Punjab to capitalize on the opportunity. By augmenting the cultivation of oilseed crops, the region could not only meet its domestic requirements for edible oil but also generate substantial foreign exchange earnings.

Presenting the alarming fact that Pakistan imports approximately 88 percent of its edible oil needs, the attendees discussed the implementation of a national project worth Rs. 5.11 billion. This initiative aimed at promoting oilseeds cultivation by offering subsidies of Rs. 5,000 per acre for sunflower and canola crops, and Rs. 2,000 per acre for sesame crops.

The government also provided farmers with 50 percent of the necessary machinery for oilseed cultivation, and production competitions were organized to foster healthy competition among them. As a result of these incentives, the cultivated area for sunflower and canola increased by 35 percent, while sesame cultivation saw a remarkable 40 percent rise.

Secretary of Agriculture Iftikhar Ali Sahoo directed the Director of General Agriculture Extension to prepare a comprehensive plan for further increasing oilseed cultivation. The collective goal is to achieve self-sufficiency in edible oil production, reducing reliance on expensive imports.

During the meeting, progressive farmers and industry representatives shared their challenges, which Sahoo assured to address promptly within the existing regulatory framework. The concerted efforts of all stakeholders are now focused on accelerating oilseed cultivation to significantly impact the country’s economic outlook and food security.

The meeting included the Director General of Agriculture (Extension) Punjab, Dr. Anjum Ali, Director General of Crop Reporting Punjab, Dr. Abdul Qayyum, progressive farmers, and representatives from the oilseed industry.

  • Pakistan is importing 89% of total edible oil of approx 4 billion dollars. Kharif season sunflower and canola r competing with wheat for area, so it’s very difficult to increase oilseed area due to less profit comparitively to wheat. Population is increasing and crops area is decreasing. Climate change and high inputs rates are also severely affecting agrarian community. Food security is a major challenge for Pakistan in coming days.

  • So soon?

    76 years after independence with a population of over 200 million and one of the highest consumers of edible oil, we have suddenly realized that we should be cultivating sunflowers to fulfil our needs.

    Are we not too fast?

  • یہ فصلیں فوج سے اگانی چاھیے جو سب کاروبار میں مصروف ہیں اور یہ فارمر والا بھی کر جائیں گے بس فارمر یا عوام کو بندوق تھماکر بارڈرز پر بھیجا جائے

  • Get Alerts

    Follow ProPakistani to get latest news and updates.

    ProPakistani Community

    Join the groups below to get latest news and updates.