The diverse agro-ecological conditions in the country are favourable for growing nine annual oilseed crops, which include seven edible oilseeds (groundnut, rapeseed & mustard, soybean, sunflower, sesame, safflower and niger) and two non-edible oilseeds (castor and linseed) and several perennial oil bearing tree crops. In addition, oilseeds of tree and forest origin, which grow mostly in tribal inhabited areas contribute significantly as minor source of oil. Among the non-conventional oils, rice bran oil and cottonseed oil are also important. Presently, annual oilseeds are grown on an area of 25.7 m.ha with 26.7 m.t production and productivity of 1037 kg /ha for the quinquennium ending 2014-15.India are one of the major oilseeds grower and importer of edible oils. India’s vegetable oil economy is world’s fourth largest after USA, China & Brazil. In India, oilseeds follow cereals, sharing 14% of the country's gross cropped area and accounting for nearly 3% of the gross domestic product and 5.98% of the value of all agricultural products. Despite being the largest cultivator of oilseeds in the world, India imports about 50% of its requirements owing to the life style changes in dietary pattern and increasing per capita income.

These oilseed crops are widely distributed in various agro-ecological niches of the country. Researchers, developmental agencies, policy makers and industries are making concerted efforts to increase oilseed production in the country. To support and sustain their efforts and to have exchange of scientific information and ideas a strong need was felt for initiating a scientific society of oilseeds for bringing together all the relevant stakeholders viz., organizations and institutions interested in or engaged in research, development, technology, processing and allied products connected with oilseed sector. In the AICRP workshop on oilseed crops held in 1982 at the University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore, the oilseed researchers group proposed to form a scientific society. Accordingly, the Indian Society of Oilseeds Research (ISOR) was launched and got registered in the office of the Registrar of Societies, Hyderabad on 14th December, 1983 (Registration No.2049) under the Andhra Pradesh (Telangana Area) Public Societies Registration Act 1350 Fasli (Act I of 1350F).

Honorable Dr. O.P.Gautam and Dr.N.S.Randhwa, former DGs, ICAR were patrons and Dr. M.V.Rao, former Special DG, ICAR was the first President of ISOR and guided the activities of the society during 1983 to 1990 and 2006 to 2009. Distinguished past presidents of the Society who have strengthened the society by providing constant support to various activities include Dr.R.S.Paroda; Dr.V.L.Chopra; Dr.Mangala Rai; former Secretary, DARE and DG, ICAR, Dr.E.A.Sidiq and Dr. G. Kalloo former DDG(CS), ICAR , Dr. D. M. Hegde and Dr. K.S.Varaprasad former Project Director(s) of DOR.   The present President of the Society is Dr. Arvind Kumar, Vice-Chancellor, Rani Laxmi Bai Central Agricultural University (RLBCAU), Jhansi and Former DDG (Education).

ISOR began to publish biannual scientific Journal “Journal of Oilseeds Research” from 1984, which is a unique Journal in the country publishing   scientific –papers/reviews on all aspects of annual & perennial oilseeds crops.  Due to constant guidance of honorary members of ISOR the pattern of the Journal and quality of printing of the Journal has been improved.  The NAAS rating is also increased from 3.3 to 3.97

Since its inception during 1983, the Society has expanded continuously and has more than 1216 life members and more than 200 annual members. The Society has honored the personnel who have rendered special services to the progress of the oilseed sector in the country and the life members have been honored as Fellows of ISOR for their contributions to oilseed research and development in the country. Best research paper published in the Journal of Oilseeds Research and Ph.D thesis on oilseed research are recognized and best among them are suitably awarded by ISOR. The Society is also organizing National Seminars/ Symposium and Conference regularly.