Crop improvement

  • Focused attention is required on germ plasm enhancement and pre-breeding.
  • Systematic efforts are needed to collect, conserve, regenerate the local landraces and wild relatives and establishment of ‘International nursery’ for oilseeds.
  • Emphasis be given for trait discovery, identification of markers linked to economically important traits and establishment of phenol typing facilities for oilseed crops.
  • Besides attempting for resistance to biotic and a biotic stress, there is a need to breed for hauling in the genes for yield per se. A collection of stocks with crop-wise yield QTLs be made, subjected to meta-analysis and used further. Genes be supplemented as per the need of mega-environment for which the breeding strategy is applied.
  • Specialty varieties are to be developed and commercialized as the vehicles of commerce in agriculture towards farm-prosperity.
  • Focus to be given for value addition in castor to increase export of value added products as well as in reducing the gap in industry – academia linkage in up scaling the value chain.
  • Value addition in oilseeds and promoting valuable by-products (cake, meal, fibre etc.,) in crops like soybean, linseed, etc. must be given importance to increase profitability.
  • While resorting to speed breeding, appropriate glasshouse or controlled environment (photoperiod, temperature, and humidity) chambers be made for each oilseed crop to enable 4-5 generations of advancement each year eg. short-day oilseeds like soybean, black-out arrangement, specific pots/trays for density increase, drying etc., may be needed.
  • Fast-forwarding the genetic gain be carried out by combining accelerated breeding with single seed descent, marker-assisted selection, doubled haploid and genomic selection (GS) methods.
  • Breeding for climate-change resilience will need (i) strategic crossing of complementary physiological traits based on phenomics and metabolomics profiling, and (ii) phenol typing and remote-sensing platforms for large-scale screening. These need to be adopted.
  • Translational research be carried out for speedy outcomes utilizing the plurality and breadth of the Indian agricultural R&D system.
  • Improvement of traits such as seed dispersal, oil content and quality, plant architecture, reduction/ removal of allergens in oilseeds may be attempted through genome editing approach.


Crop Production

  • The developments in sensor technology and IT tools (data analytics, remote sensing, geo/plant referencing with micro-irrigation systems need to be integrated.
  • There is an urgent need to adopt, scale up and capacity building of conservation agriculture technologies – focusing on oilseed based cropping systems in the changing climatic scenario for enhanced productivity, carbon sequestration and sustainability.
  • Small implements and machinery for complete value chain for oilseed crops for attending to the timely farm operations, reducing the cost of cultivation, drudgery by small holding farmers must be developed.
  • Village/block level clusters to promote and foster cultivation under Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) to be established


Stress management

  • Intensive efforts to be made on developing of resistant cultivars to insect vectors of important viral diseases in oilseed crops through application of molecular biology
  • Need to strengthen research activities on understanding climate change effects on crop pests and natural enemies to gear up for managing pest outbreaks
  • Importance to be given for development of location specific forecasting services to farmers about insect pests and diseases by deployment of wireless sensor networks (WSN) and decision support system (DSS) development
  • Intensive research efforts to be made to study, understand and make use of crop specific soil micro biome in crop health management
  • Need to explore and identify abiotic stress tolerant beneficial microbial endophytes for deployment in stressed ecosystems
  • Specific need is to have resistance to necrosis of sunflower, phytoplasma in sesame, aphids in safflower, and rugose whitefly an invasive in oil palm etc. Need to understand the basis of resistance by adopting basic research.


Processing, Value addition, Specialty oils and secondary sources of oils Oil Palm

  • Genetic improvement of the plant bearing material to be given the highest priority to increase the oil yield.
  • Appropriate cropping systems for increasing the farmers’ income besides reducing the negative externalities on the ecological front need to be identified and adopted.
  • Appropriate institutional arrangements and policy environment favouring oil palm for sustained oil production and its by-product utilization through value addition to be developed.



  • Focus to be given for developing varieties/ hybrids of very short to short type and bearing more number of nuts and replacement of old and senile palms in traditional areas.
  • Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO) holds high promise for domestic and export market. Technologies developed by CSIR, ICAR-CPCRI should be commercially utilized by entrepreneurs, SHG’s/FPO’s with technical / financial support.
  • Promotion of value added products viz., milk based products and activated carbon for domestic and export market to be explored.



  • Mapping of suitable agro-ecological regions for area expansion should primarily focus on “Chilling requirement and Critical range of temperature” besides other associated soil and climatic factors
  • Ecological mapping is a pre – requisite for the geno type evaluation for development/ refinement of the production technology. This must be given a priority.



  • Greater penetration of specialty products through technology licensing must be explored.
  • Public Private Partnership for niche product development to be encouraged.



  • A suitable action plan for area expansion in convergence with Bharathi Vidhyapeeth and FPO’s/NGO’s should be developed for enhancing the availability of omega3 present in linseed



  • High oil yield geno types with emphasis on low peroxide value and low free fatty acid must be given priority.
  • Bioenergy
  • Integration of oilseed with bio energy research programmes for increasing the domestic production of edible oils needs to done.
  • Area expansion of the identified (by Ministry of Energy and Petroleum) 2 million ha with suitable technology transfer mechanism of oil bearing plant material.
  • A brainstorming session on using plant remains for bioethanol production is to be conducted.


Extension And Knowledge Management

  • All the developed interactive mobile apps, DSS and other ICT approaches must reach farmers for bridging the gap between attainable yields with improved technologies compared to farmers’ practices.
  • Wider adoptability of improved technologies, there is a need for convergence of the activities being carried out by different extension agencies including corporate company led efforts is to be ensured.


Data Analysis

  • The available data over the decades and across the country is to be utilized through the data analytics tools which would help in pinpointing corrective/promotive measures to achieve the goals quickly and efficiently.
  • Crop profitability index in each potential areas of oilseed cultivation is to be worked out so that places where oilseed has a competitive edge could be identified for growing oilseed crops.
  • Available data must be analyzed thoroughly to assess the amount of water that is required to produce one unit of oil.


Policy Issues

  • Public acceptance and regulatory policy are critical for promoting the use of CRISPR technology in crops and efforts must be made to formulate measures to ensure these.
  • Edible oil policy is skewed in favour of consumers rather than producers and therefore, creative disruptive policy instruments need to be introduced to reverse the trends and insulate the domestic oilseeds economy.
  • On the consumption front, skewness in per capita availability (PCA) (ranging from 9-11 kg/annum in low income group and between: 22-24 kg/annum in high income group) needs to be reduced by subsidizing edible oils under PDS to advance nutritional security to the low income groups. This can be clubbed with procurement of oilseeds at MSP.
  • Oilseeds Crushing Industry Modernization Fund is to be created to increase the efficiency.
  • Partial imports of oilseeds instead of wholesale import of vegetable oils is to be adopted for better capacity utilization of the processing sector besides providing employment and generating income by selling oil / cake / meal to feed industry and for export purpose.
  • There is a need to impose quantitative restrictions on import of edible oil since the excessive, speculation driven, unrestrained vegetable oil imports tend to suppress domestic oilseed prices. Measures to impose annual ceiling on import volume; close monitoring of import; quarterly reviews; dynamic tariffs and most importantly reducing the credit period would provide an impetus to the domestic oilseeds farmers
  • Backward integration by setting up processing facilities especially in backward areas/ non – Traditional areas with a view to improve processing activities besides reducing the length of supply chain is needed if crop diversification is to be taken up seriously.
  • Price tracking mechanism has to be intensified and farmers should be made aware of the market intelligence by appropriate capacity building of farmers.
  • Promotion of oil palm in eastern India which would bring higher production need to be given impetus.
  • Policy decision to keep a ceiling on growing of cereals like rice/wheat in best ecologies and encouraging oilseeds need to be emphasized and supported including value addition for increasing much needed oil seed production.
  • Supportive rural infrastructure for storage including cold chains need to be established.
  • Robust procurement systems to be implemented – Ensuring MSP implementation through increased procurement of the oilseeds.
  • Enabling and stable policy environment is the key to scale up micro-irrigation systems for higher water use efficiency and enhancing oil seed productivity in the country. This needs to be effected.
  • There is an urgent need to encourage and support the local grassroots innovators by all relevant stakeholders for due recognition and to develop them as entrepreneurs.
  • Policy decision is urgently needed on the issues such as use of GM crops (e.g. Bt genes, gene silencing etc.) which can play a major role in organic agriculture and sustainable management of pests
  • Stringent quarantine system and policy to manage invasive pests and vectors are to be executed. Often, time is wasted in not admitting the presence of invasive pests which favours the dispersal of the invasive.
  • Government support to be given for establishing local enterprises for production of some important components of IPM like bio-agents and other inputs used in organic agriculture
  • Fixing Standard Input Output Norms for duty/tax free import of low-cost crude edible oils against matching export of refined oils would enable complete utilization of the existing installed capacity of the country. This needs to be put in place.
  • Quality seed production of improved varieties through ‘seed village concept’ with producers, technocrats, certifying agencies for procurement and distribution and timely supply to the farmers.
  • Improvement of water use efficiency through hydrophilic polymers, micro-irrigation and weed management
  • Standardizing of cultivation of oilseeds in rice fallow with zero tillage, residual moisture and nutrient utilization.
  • Site-specific integrated nutrient management, crop management, new cropping systems including inter and sequential cropping.
  • Brainstorming Session on “Climate Smart Technologies for Enhancing Vegetable Oil Production” during January 19-20, 2017 at Hyderabad
  • Enhance the availability of quality seeds of oilseed crops
  • Ideo type of oil palm with high oil yield suitable to Indian Conditions may be designed and developed.
  • Soil test    based fertilizer application of major and micro nutrients need to be followed for enhancing the oilseed production grown in different agro-ecological situations in the
  • Mechanization in oilseeds through custom hiring mechanism may be augmented for timely field operations
  • Farmers should get reasonable/remunerative selling price across oilseed crops/oil palm.
  • Favourable tariff policy on imports of edible oils may be formulated
  • Identifying potential areas/districts (High volume- low yield districts) and organize cluster demonstrations/whole village demonstrations of available best management practices for enhancing the productivity of oilseeds.
  • Research-Industry interface involved in oilseed R& D needs strengthening.
  • Use of ICT for providing oilseed related advisories through mobile
  • Organize brain storming session with stakeholders in oilseeds for chalking out specific action plan
  • 8th International Safflower Conference –from January 19-23, 2012 at Hyderabad.

National Symposium on “Research and Development in Castor : Present Status and Future Strategies” from October 22-23, 2010 at Hyderabad

National Symposium on “Vegetable Oils Scenario: Approaches to Meet the Growing Demands” held during January 29-31, 2009 at Hyderabad

National Seminar on “Changing Global Vegetable Oils Scenario: Issues and challenges before India” held during January 29-31, 2007 at Hyderabad

National Seminar on “Stress management in oilseeds for attaining self-reliance in vegetable oils” held during January 28-30, 2003 at Hyderabad

  • National Seminar on ” Oilseeds and Oils – Research and Development Needs in the Millennium” held during February 2-4, 2000 at Hyderabad
  • National Seminar on “Oilseeds Research and Development in India: Status and Strategies” held during August 2-5,1993 at Hyderabad
  • Second International Safflower Conference held during January 9-13,1989 at Hyderabad
  • National Seminar on “Strategies for making India Self-Reliant in Vegetable Oils” held during September 5-9, 1988 at Hyderabad.
  • Developing high yielding cultivars with a yield target of at least double of the maximum productivity level of the leading varieties location specifically (target crop groundnut, soybean and rapeseed and mustard). The varieties should have additional traits of tolerance to biotic and a biotic stresses and quality
  • Use of biotechnological tools such as molecular markers, MAS and molecular breeding to supplement conventional breeding to develop cultivars with in-built resistance to biotic stresses and climate
  • Development of maize varieties having high oil corn (nearly 8%) without comprising yield to supplement vegetable oil from maize
  • Development of high oil yielding and gossypol free cotton varieties without affecting quality of
  • Development of small tools and machineries that will fit for different operations specific to each crop to ensure timely execution of farm operations that leads to increase in use efficiency of all other resources through improvement in
  • Develop machinery for precision planting, powder fertilizers spreaders, fiber scutching machine, crust breaker, oil palm harvester, safflower petal collector, to enhancing efficiency.
  • Quality seed production of improved varieties through ‘seed village concept’ with producers, technocrats, certifying agencies for procurement and distribution and timely supply to the
  • Improvement of water use efficiency through hydrophilic polymers, micro-irrigation and weed management
  • Standardizing of cultivation of oilseeds in rice fallow with zero tillage, residual moisture and nutrient
  • Site-specific integrated nutrient management, crop management, new cropping systems including inter and sequential
  Development issues
  • Assured supply of improved quality seed.
  • Bring down oilseeds cultivation from 70% rainfed to 50% rainfed level by managing water resources.
  • Assured irrigation as and when drought occurs. Saving of irrigation water can be made through popularization of micro irrigation (sprinkler and drip) and improve water use efficiency.
  • Increase seed replacement ratio to at least 20% for varieties and 100% for hybrids.
  • Adopt of location specific efficient dry farming technologies for drought proofing for sustainable production of oilseeds.
  • Promote adequate and balanced fertilization with sulphur and limiting micronutrients and soil amendments.
  • Promote intercropping systems involving oilseeds with production technology for achieving higher efficiency of resources, profitability and risk minimization.
  • Encourage exploitation of the realizable large potential of Tree Borne Oilseeds through organized collections, safe storage, handling and transport from the remote locations.
  • Avoid use of rice bran directly as feed. Promote de-oiled rice bran as feed. Realizing full potential of rice bran oil through modernizing milling plants and establishing integrated plants.
  • Make suitable farm machineries available for use in all conditions of cultivation including, sowing, harvesting, threshing, intercultural operation, etc.
  • Avoid whole cotton seed usage as feed. Promote scientific processing of cotton seed for higher oil recovery and to get high protein retention (42%) compared to traditional processing (22%).
  • Improve efficiency of extraction of oil. Prefer solvent extraction for hard seeds (<20% oil) and expeller extraction for soft seeds (35 to 40% oil).
  • Application of microbes for enhancing nutrient use efficiency and bio-control of diseases and pests
  Policy interventions required
  • Decontrol of all traditional oilseeds from small scale sector to enhance efficiency in processing.
  • Make cultivation of oilseeds remunerative and profitable by enhancing MSP and ensure trading at MSP compulsory.
  • Ensure effective market intervention to implement MSP in oilseeds without linking it to oil content.
  • Encourage establishment of large scale ‘captive plantations’ and specialized ‘seed gardens’ of oil palm by declaring oil palm as a plantation. Pricing policy should consider the fair profitability from oilseeds cultivation in relation to other crops.
  • Incentive for scientific processing of cottonseed for better recovery of oil.
  • Encourage and strengthen private participation in collaborative research, development, extension, etc. with necessary concessions.
  • Ban diversion of edible oils into biodiesel production.
  • Incentive to farmers for growing new varieties and adoption of micro-irrigation techniques.
  • The present import duty structure is 12.5% on crude oils, 20% on refined oils and 30% on raw material (sunflower and rapeseed) for crushing. To encourage domestic industries, the import duty may be raised to 27.5% on refined oils.