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Oilseed Scenario in Pakistan

  • Date Submitted: 03/18/2014 10:22 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 38.2 
  • Words: 854
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DESPITE an enormous consumption of edible oil, the country severely lags behind in oilseed production, resulting in huge gap between domestic supply and demand.
The total domestic production of oilseed during Marketing Year (MY) 2012/13 (October-September) is forecast at 5.8 million metric tonnes (MMT), up eight per cent over MY 2011/12 production estimate, due to an anticipated increase in cottonseed production. However, the total oil produced during last year could only meet 27 per cent of domestic demand.
The rest was covered in two ways: 11 per cent of demand came by extracting edible oil from imported oilseeds and 61 per cent of demand through direct imports of edible oil, mainly palm oil. According to the Economic Survey of Pakistan (2011-12), Pakistan is the third largest importer of edible oil globally. Oilseeds constitute about five per cent of total imports and 50 per cent of agricultural imports.
Given that the total oil consumption estimated at 3.7million metric tonnes (MMT) in MY 2012/13, up six per cent over last year’s estimates, it is essential that we focus on greater production of oilseed.
However, there are several constraints. Firstly, there is less established cropping system for oilseed crops. There exists a competition among oilseed and cereal crops, e.g., rapeseed and mustard compete with wheat while sunflower competes with rice and cotton crops and farmers prefer to grow cereal crops due to attractive prices.
Similarly, non-availability of inputs at proper time, lack of modern technologies, deficiency of irrigation water, inefficient oil extraction plants, smuggling of refined edible oil on the borders, poor coordination among research organisations, lack of suitable machinery for planting, harvesting and threshing operations, improper dissemination of site-specific production technologies and lack of research-based crop management all add up to the issue.
Another reason is the absence of a proper marketing mechanism and volatility in...


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