The average per capita edible oil consumption of an Indian consumer is around 13kgs/ annum. This is half as compared to world’s average and a third of developed countries average per capita consumption. India is the fourth largest producer of oilseeds across the globe, and on average harvests roughly 25 million tons of oilseeds. This equates to 10% of the global production average of 250 million tons per annum. Despite this large proportion of oilseed production, the per capita oil consumption in India averages 13 kgs/ annum, which is below the averages of 20.8 kg/per capita/annum in Japan, 21.3 kg/per capita/annum in Brazil, 48 kg/per capita/annum in USA and 12.5 kg/per capita/annum in China.

Several types of oilseeds are cultivated in India. Prominent varieties include Soybean, Cottonseed, Groundnut, Sunflower, Rapeseed, Sesame seed, Copra, Linseed, Castor seed and Palm Kernels. India is the world's largest producer of Groundnuts, Sesame seeds, Linseeds and Castor seeds. Oilseed production spans roughly 27 million hectares across India. Production is concentrated during two periods of the year, and based on this, oilseeds are classified as either Kharif Crop or Rabi Crop. Kharif Crop, which is dependent on the monsoon season, is harvested from October to November every year. By contrast, the Rabi Crop is harvested from March to April every year. India’s edible oil industry is composed of 50,000 Expellers, 600 Solvent Plants, 300 Vegetable Oil Refineries and 175 Hydrogenation Plants. The sector is a major source of employment across the country and averages a turnover of US $ 10 Billion per annum.

As per research conducted by the National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER), in the year 2015, demand for edible oil in India will touch 20 million tons per annum. However, this demand will be matched by a supply of only 7 million tons per annum, thus creating a shortfall of 13 million tons per annum in 2015. This necessitates a growth in edible oil production in India of 15%. However, the growth rate of edible oil production in India is just 4%. This implies that as is the status quo, India will continue to rely heavily on importing edible oil.

 
 
 
 
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