Palm Oil Production
Why In News?
- In recent years the European Union (EU) has taken important steps to prevent deforestation and address environmental concerns through the European Union Deforestation-Free Regulation (EUDR) regarding palm oil production.
- The European Union has made large-scale efforts to phase out palm-oil-based biofuels by 2030 through the Deforestation-Free Regulation.
In the context of the European Union Deforestation-Free Regulation (EUDR):
- On 6 December 2022, the EU reached an agreement on a new law to prevent companies from placing goods linked to deforestation and forest degradation on the EU market or exporting them from the EU.
- EUDR aims to eliminate deforestation from the supply chains of goods used every day in the EU.
- Keeping the year 2030 as the target, a law was introduced in the year 2023 in Brussels, the capital of Belgium, and administrative burden was imposed on palm-oil exporters wishing to sell in the European Union.
- The EUDR provides that the regulation requires companies to ensure that product exported to the EU is grown on land where deforestation has not occurred after December 31, 2020.
Important facts related to palm oil:
- According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), palm oil is the world’s most widely used vegetable oil, with global production exceeding 73 million tonnes (MT) in 2020.
- Palm oil is an edible vegetable oil obtained from the mesocarp (reddish pulp) of the oil palm fruit.
- The oil is used in food manufacturing, beauty products, and as a biofuel.
- This makes palm oil easier to stabilize and maintain flavor and consistency quality in processed foods, so it is often used by food manufacturers.
- Demand for palm oil has also increased for other uses, such as cosmetics and biofuels, creating greater demand on supply that encourages the growth of palm oil plantations in tropical countries.
- The largest producing countries of palm oil are Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Nigeria. Indonesia produces biodiesel mainly from palm oil.
India’s position in palm oil imports:
- India is the largest importer of palm oil, accounting for 40% of its total vegetable oil consumption.
- India imports half of its annual 8.3 metric tonne palm oil requirement from Indonesia.
- India unveiled the National Mission on Edible Oil-Palm Oil in the year 2021 to boost its domestic palm oil production.
- Given the benefits associated with palm oil for India’s cooking needs, Indian farmers should be encouraged to intensify palm oil acreage expansion efforts to increase palm oil production in the country.
SOURCE – PIB