The dynamics and potential of Oil Seeds in Pakistan

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IN PAKISTAN, there is less established cropping system for oilseed crops. Most of the area under major crops is situated in Indus basin. The major crops in the existing cropping system are wheat, cotton, rice and maize. However, some pockets for sunflower such as rice-sunflower-rice and cotton-sunflower-cotton are emerging. Currently, 0.754 million ha of the total cropped area are under oilseed crops are Sunflower Rapeseed – Mustard, Sesame, Groundnut, Linseed, Safflower, Soybean and Castor. Canola seed are typically sourced from Canada and Australia.


Pakistan has been constantly and chronically deficient in edible oil production. At present, about 70% of the domestic requirements are met through imports. Since early 1970s its imports increased at the rate of 12.5% annually. However, efforts have been made to increase its local production. The area under oilseed crops during 1990-91 was 473,000 ha with the production of 3650,000 tones, which was 748,000 ha producing 4767,000 tonnes in 2008-09. Domestic production of edible oil during 2000-01 was 642 thousand tonnes which substantially decreased to 475 thousand tonnes in 2002-03. It increased gradually and reached to 565 thousand tonnes during 2008-09 due to canola and sunflower plantation on a considerable area. During the year 2012-13 total availability of edible oil was 3.069 million tonnes and during 2013-14 all sources is provisionally estimated at 2.325 million tonnes.


In domestic production, major share comes from cotton seed contributing 53% of local production. Sunflower contributes 33%, rapeseed-mustard 9% and canola contributes 5%. In Pakistan, mainly two types of oilseed crops are grown i.e., traditional (rapeseed-mustard, groundnut, sesame and linseed) and non-traditional (sunflower, safflower, soybean). The area under these crops remained almost stagnant with minor fluctuations except sunflower, rapeseed and mustard (especially canola) and sesame which showed a considerable increase in area, production and yield per unit area during the last 10 years. During 2008-09, traditional and non-traditional oilseed crops were grown on 50% and 50% respectively of the total oilseed area.


Huge gaps exist between potential yield and average yield of various oilseed crops. About 78% of the yield potential has not yet been achieved in rapeseed-mustard, 77% in groundnut, 69% in sunflower, 62% in sesame, 73% in linseed and 70% safflower. However, the progressive farmers are already achieving more than 70% of the yield potential indicating that there is a large scope for vertical increase in oilseed production through the use of proper crop management practices.


Pakistan imported 1.719 million tonnes of edible oil which cost US$ 1.425 billion (Rs. 148.633 billion) by 2013-14. Total requirement of edible oil at present in the country is 2.045 million tonnes and local production during this year was 0.636 million tonnes. The total availability of edible oil was 3.079 million tonnes last year, of which local production contributed 0.696 million tonnes (34% of the requirement) while imports of edible oil or oilseeds was 2.383 million ton. It said the import bill reached Rs 224 billion (US$ 2.611 billion) during last year. The major oilseed crops grown in the country include sunflower, canola, cottonneseed and mustard. Although the cotton crop is grown for its lint, and cottonneseed contributes 50 to 60 % of local edible oil production.


Pakistan can save Rs.200 billion per annum on edible oil import by enhancing of oil seeds production domestically. Domestic demand of edible oil is about 2 million tonnes and Pakistan each year spends a big amount of precious foreign exchange on the import of the edible oil. Canola oil seeds play an important role in enhancing the production of edible oil domestically. The new variety of high breed canola seeds for the farmers so that the production of edible oil could be increased and help reduce dependence on the import of edible oil and save foreign exchange for the country.


Pakistan is a net importer of oilseeds and edible oils. Domestic production of edible oils is sufficient to meet only about 25% of total demand. Domestic oilseed production includes cotton seed, sunflower seed and rapeseed. Cottonneseed regularly accounts for about 82 % of Pakistans total oilseeds production. Imports of oilseeds are forecast at 1.3 MMT (92 % of which are rapeseed/ canola). Total supply of oilseed available for crushing is forecasted at 6.13 MMT, 10 % higher than the previous year. Domestic meal production is forecast at 2.97 MMT, up 10 % from last years level mainly due to the expected increase in cotton seed production. Imports of soybean meal are forecast at a record 400,000 tonnes, 14 % higher than last years imports. Virtually all of Pakistans soy meal imports are sourced from India. Oil production is forecast at 1.5 million tonnes, 17 % higher than the previous year. Vegetable oil imports are forecast at a record 2.16 MMT, an increase of 5 % relative. Palm oil accounts for 81 % of the total imports.


Total domestic oilseed production during MY 2013/14 is forecast at 5.8 MMT, up 24% over the production estimate due to an anticipated increase in cottonneseed production. Production of cottonneseed is forecast at 4.8 MMT, 25 % higher than last years flood reduced production level. Sunflower seed production is forecast at 750,000 tonnes, up 14 % from last year and rapeseed production is forecast at 280,000 tonnes, 27% higher than the previous year. Posts estimate of Pakistans total oilseed production in was revised downward (9%) and is estimated at 4.7 MMT, mainly due to decrease in cotton production.


Oilseed consumption will likely continue to be strong in ensuing years due to Pakistans high population growth rate and steady growth in poultry and livestock sectors. Pakistan is a growing market for oilseeds export from Canada, Australia and the Ukraine.


The Government of Pakistan (GOP) liberalized the import of oilseeds, since then the crushing industry has improved its efficiency by overhauling older machinery and installing high-tech solvent extraction equipment.


Total imports of oilseeds for crushing are forecast at 1.3 MMT up to 10 % over last years estimate. Increased demand for edible oil from the burgeoning population and oilseed meal for the growing livestock and poultry sectors have led to an increasing dependence on imported oilseeds. The oilseed import forecast includes 1.2 million tonnes of canola (mainly from Canada, Australia and the Ukraine), and 100,000 tonnes of sunflower seed from Australia. Oilseed imports were estimated at 1.2 million metric tonnes.


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Published in: Volume 06 Issue 28

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